One in three California middle school and high school students reported having been harassed or bullied at least once in the previous year, according to new data from a statewide student survey.

Thirty-four percent of students in grades 7, 9 and 11 said they had been bullied one or more times, according to the 2011-13 California Healthy Kids Survey, which is administered by the California Department of Education. That rate is roughly the same as the 33 percent of students in those grades who reported having been bullied in the 2009-11 California Healthy Kids Survey, although that survey used different methodology. (See map below for county-by-county data on bullying reported in 2011-13 by seventh graders.)

Nationally, the percentage of students who report having been bullied has decreased slightly or remained the same in recent years, said John Kelly, a board member of the National Association of School Psychologists, a Maryland-based membership organization.

“You’ve got to have a skilled, socially intelligent teacher in the classroom,” said Bridget Early, a social worker at Everett Middle School in San Francisco. “When kids say mean things, the teacher can squash it right then.”

In recent years, widely publicized bullying incidents, including the anti-gay harassment of Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old gay student from Tehachapi who committed suicide in 2010, have led to federal and state laws, including Assembly Bill 9, known as Seth’s Law, in California, that require schools to do more to protect student safety. Studies have found that schools can reduce bullying through research-based approaches that build relationships and social skills, establish behavior norms and foster empathy.

“It’s a lot about how classroom culture is set up,” said Bridget Early, a social worker at Everett Middle School in San Francisco. “You’ve got to have a skilled, socially intelligent teacher in the classroom,” she said. “When kids say mean things, the teacher can squash it right then.”

At Everett, she said, classroom teachers hold weekly classroom circles to check in with students on topics including bullying, are coached to create a welcoming environment including greeting students with a smile, and use social and emotional strategies as part of classroom instruction. One such strategy is the Good Behavior Game, in which middle school students and teachers decide which classroom behaviors they’d like to see reduced, such as talking out of turn, and then teams of students compete to follow the rule and win a prize. The Good Behavior Game has been widely studied and proven to have long-term effects on students’ mental health, alcohol and drug use and smoking.

The bullying data come as school districts in California are newly required by the State Board of Education to create a written plan for a positive “school climate,” to be measured by surveying students, teachers and parents about their sense of safety at school, among other indicators. These efforts must be part of districts’ three-year planning documents, known as Local Control and Accountability Plans, which first took effect on July 1, 2014.

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Districts will be updating their planning documents, including their school climate improvement initiatives, this spring. “It’s a time for districts to pay attention to what they’re actually doing, and whether it’s having any effect,” said Gregory Austin, director of the Health and Human Development program at WestEd, a San Francisco-based research organization that designed the California Healthy Kids Survey. WestEd has created a “What Works” brief that describes what teachers and administrators can do to reduce bullying, including being “visible, active and interested” in how students are behaving, particularly in unstructured times such as passing periods between classes.

As defined by WestEd, a positive school climate includes caring relationships between teachers and students, physical and emotional safety, and academic and emotional supports that help students succeed – the opposite of a school culture where bullying is ignored.

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Education identified three key elements of bullying: unwanted aggressive behavior, observed or perceived power imbalance and repetition of behaviors or high likelihood of repetition.

Seventh-grade students reported the highest rates of bullying or harassment, with 39 percent saying they’d experienced one or more incidents. Rates declined somewhat as students moved to higher grades, with 34 percent of 9th-graders and 27 percent of 11th-graders reporting having been bullied. The data were released on Kidsdata.org, a project of the Palo Alto-based Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.

The difficulties for middle school students were reflected in a related survey in which 51 percent of middle school teachers – compared to 27 percent of elementary school teachers and 39 percent of high school teachers – said bullying was a moderate or severe problem at their school. That data is from the 2011-13 California School Climate Survey, administered by the California Department of Education.

Race or national origin was the leading reason cited by students to explain why they were targeted for bullying in all grades. The second most common reason was that peers thought the student was gay or lesbian, the analysis said.

Higher percentages of African-American, Asian-American, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students reported bullying incidents, compared to students from other racial and ethnic backgrounds.

The 50 largest school districts in California have all listed actions they will take to address school climate in their planning documents, according to a study by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California. Seventy percent say they plan to implement positive discipline approaches that emphasize building relationships with students or allowing them to make amends, rather than taking more punitive actions. These approaches include Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Restorative Practices or restorative justice, and social emotional learning.

A 2012 study published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, a framework that uses an array of programs and a database to track behavior incidents and interventions, had a significant effect in reducing bullying incidents reported by teachers.

The 2011-13 California Healthy Kids Survey departed from previous methodology by collecting data from a randomly selected group of 109 secondary schools that are representative of the state. Participating districts were given a financial incentive to administer the survey, in order to insure that the results would be representative enough to fulfill the state requirement that students in grades 7, 9 and 11 be surveyed every two years on substance use.

Previous California Healthy Kids Surveys have collected data from as many as 1 million California students, but a 2010 federal funding change led to a decline in the number of schools participating. Districts across the state continue to administer the survey and analyze results about student behavior, health and sense of connection to school.

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  1. navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

    That's not all you wrote. You also pointed out that harassment is different than bullying in that the definition of the latter is based on a repeated occurrence of the former (actually not entirely true but that's beside the point). Then you went on to analogize that relationship to the one between consensual sex and rape. At first I dismissed your comment as merely a function of the late hour, yet you returned to not … Read More

    That’s not all you wrote.
    You also pointed out that harassment is different than bullying in that the definition of the latter is based on a repeated occurrence of the former (actually not entirely true but that’s beside the point). Then you went on to analogize that relationship to the one between consensual sex and rape.
    At first I dismissed your comment as merely a function of the late hour, yet you returned to not only defend your post but to also chastise the author for not being as meticulously critical and careful with her wording as you had been.
    Gulp–you meant to write what you did.
    And you issued that criticism not only after the inaccurate and abhorrent analogy (consensual sex is not a lesser degree version of rape; nor does the definition of rape require a repetition threshold!) described in my first paragraph, but after also–as a male, scientist, educational researcher and public policy influencer who also more than dabbles in statistics–went on to compare bad statistics to being raped.
    Other than to say that Manuel was being quite generous, I truly don’t know what to say.

  2. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    Looking over the survey, its question and responses, I'm very skeptical of the accuracy on bullying with answers entirely dependent upon perception, though getting better data would be difficult without the use of mindreaders. However, I was downright shocked to learn that 3% of students in each of the reported grade levels admitted to carrying a gun to school at least twice in the school year and double that amount when asked for … Read More

    Looking over the survey, its question and responses, I’m very skeptical of the accuracy on bullying with answers entirely dependent upon perception, though getting better data would be difficult without the use of mindreaders. However, I was downright shocked to learn that 3% of students in each of the reported grade levels admitted to carrying a gun to school at least twice in the school year and double that amount when asked for any weapon. Run the numbers and even the minimum amount reported adds up to a frightening number of guns on campus any given school day. Now that’s bad news!

    Replies

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      After the recent and heated Ed Source discussion on guns, why has the survey’s reported number of students admitting to carrying guns on campus gone under the radar while bullying has not?

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      -amazing what can be pulled out of the ether and just how far people will go to actively misconstrue. The analogy was about the process of formulating weak conclusions based upon mostly media-driven public hysteria. That said, harassment and bullying can be precursors to sexual predation and rape. And, again, why have the powers-that-be taken all the data available in this survey and chosen to ignore the number of guns admitted to be … Read More

      -amazing what can be pulled out of the ether and just how far people will go to actively misconstrue. The analogy was about the process of formulating weak conclusions based upon mostly media-driven public hysteria. That said, harassment and bullying can be precursors to sexual predation and rape. And, again, why have the powers-that-be taken all the data available in this survey and chosen to ignore the number of guns admitted to be carried on campus to focus just on bullying?

  3. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    Putting a number on this issue strikes me as ridiculous. There’s the kid who gets upset about being bumped in the rough and tumble hallways and perhaps rightly so, but then there’s the serious, threatening behavior that leaves a child scared to go to school or be left alone. Lumping them together as aggregate data doesn’t shed light on student experiences at school.

    Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      Overcrowding causes a lot of issues- intellectually and socially. My District has average class sizes of 34 students per class. Add to that that everyone is now at the same level- the best and the brightest and the ones that really do not want to be there and the actual end result is a loose loose for everyone. But hey= its all about preserving adult jobs and has little to do about actually educating students. … Read More

      Overcrowding causes a lot of issues- intellectually and socially. My District has average class sizes of 34 students per class. Add to that that everyone is now at the same level- the best and the brightest and the ones that really do not want to be there and the actual end result is a loose loose for everyone. But hey= its all about preserving adult jobs and has little to do about actually educating students. How sad for the future of California,,, and the United States of America since California educates a large percentage of US studnets.

      • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

        Dawn:

        If it was really “all about jobs for adults” then considerably more money would be going to the schools so that more adults could be hired which would then lower class sizes. Win-win, in other words.

  4. Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

    Can't disagree with WestEd's "definition" here; however, there is the implication that where the "positive school climate" is absent it is due to the described conditions being "ignored," and that is problematic. "As defined by WestEd, a positive school climate includes caring relationships between teachers and students, physical and emotional safety, and academic and emotional supports that help students succeed – the opposite of a school culture where bullying is ignored." The other explanation is there just … Read More

    Can’t disagree with WestEd’s “definition” here; however, there is the implication that where the “positive school climate” is absent it is due to the described conditions being “ignored,” and that is problematic.

    “As defined by WestEd, a positive school climate includes caring relationships between teachers and students, physical and emotional safety, and academic and emotional supports that help students succeed – the opposite of a school culture where bullying is ignored.”

    The other explanation is there just aren’t enough school personnel to do the required monitoring of student behavior, particularly when students are out of class. And then there is the issue of what to do with those who are alleged to be doing the “bullying.”

    For the former, CA has the largest class sizes and fewest teachers per student that any of the 50 sates and generally fewer adult school personnel of all types than any other state. CA also has the fewest administrators to deal with possible misbehaviors. Then CA has the fewest councilors, psychologists, nurses, and social workers to deal with attempts to mediate the behavior of alleged perpetrators.

    All of the above conditions can be directly related to CA’s per student school spending to be in the lowest decile of the 50 states and having been there for decades. Neglect of children’s issues will have its consequences. Creating the necessary “caring relationships between teachers and students,” as WestEd calls for, is incredibly difficult when a teacher has 150 to 200 (or more) students to see each day. Note how the numbers seem to surge when the stunt enters secondary school and class size numbers tend to jump.

    Creating a “positive school climate” is also made more difficult when teachers are mandated to pay strict attention to test preparation and prescriptive curriculums rather than to real student needs.

    And before we get one of those “rigorously thought out suggestions” about cutting teachers’ salaries so that we can increase the number of teachers, recall that those districts with the highest teacher turnover rates, a condition detrimental to academics as well as creating strong relationships with students, are those districts that struggle to maintain a competitive salary. Then we have the projected teacher shortage to complicate that issue. Do we need a whole state struggling with “teacher churn issues” as some districts and most charter schools do? Recall that CA teachers’ salaries are relatively high in the nation, but CA’s cost of living is absolutely high in the nation (#2). And housing costs are astronomical in many areas. And contrary to some opinions teachers do need housing both for themselves and their families.

    Replies

    • Frances O'Neill Zimmerman 2 years ago2 years ago

      I never thought I'd see the day that Gary Ravani would trot out California's biggest classes, fewest teachers and counselors and lowest funding per child in the nation, though he does manage to claim it's all the test prep that keeps overburdened teachers from creating utopian nirvana at their schools. In fact, this is one area in which too-few teachers with too-big classes and too little school funding can make a difference in the ways … Read More

      I never thought I’d see the day that Gary Ravani would trot out California’s biggest classes, fewest teachers and counselors and lowest funding per child in the nation, though he does manage to claim it’s all the test prep that keeps overburdened teachers from creating utopian nirvana at their schools.

      In fact, this is one area in which too-few teachers with too-big classes and too little school funding can make a difference in the ways kids interact with one another. It means being aware and willing to speak up so that students know you stand for something. Every teacher can explicitly set a standard in his/her classroom for human behavior; every teacher can be at the door during passing periods to observe what’s happening in the halls, to interact with kids, to greet them as they enter the room and to be at the door when they are exiting. Teachers really could pass through the lunch court during the 25 minutes allotted and pay some attention to what they see. A teacher can teach the Golden Rule in the classroom so that kids understand hers is a no-go zone for harassment. It might also help if there were human relations discussion circles on campus for kids and adults, some effort to make a real community.

      • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

        Frances: Obviously you have not been paying attention. I mention those issues frequently. And what you've described about "ideal" teacher behavior happens daily in every school in the nation. But, again, you have to be paying attention to notice. Or not otherwise have ideological blinders on so that you cannot see what is in front of you. It is unfortunate that the ideal actions of dedicated teachers are not matched by an ideal public commitment to children's … Read More

        Frances:

        Obviously you have not been paying attention. I mention those issues frequently.

        And what you’ve described about “ideal” teacher behavior happens daily in every school in the nation. But, again, you have to be paying attention to notice. Or not otherwise have ideological blinders on so that you cannot see what is in front of you.

        It is unfortunate that the ideal actions of dedicated teachers are not matched by an ideal public commitment to children’s issues and the schools. The professionalism of teachers is frequently overmatched by the lack of resources and support staff.

  5. Ze'ev Wurman 2 years ago2 years ago

    Before people jump in, evaluate the data first. In the report (http://chks.wested.org/resources/Secondary_State_0911Main.pdf , p.43) one sees the result of the question of being "harassed or bullied," which this piece uses as a proxy. Yet there is a big difference between harassment and bullying -- the element of repetition, that is mentioned even in this post, has to be present. CDC definition includes *repetition* as one of the three key components of "bullying." Yet this is not … Read More

    Before people jump in, evaluate the data first.

    In the report (http://chks.wested.org/resources/Secondary_State_0911Main.pdf , p.43) one sees the result of the question of being “harassed or bullied,” which this piece uses as a proxy. Yet there is a big difference between harassment and bullying — the element of repetition, that is mentioned even in this post, has to be present. CDC definition includes *repetition* as one of the three key components of “bullying.”

    Yet this is not what Ms. Adam promotes here. The one in three number drops to 1 in 4 if single cases of harassment are excluded, and to 13% if cases of one or two incidents are excluded. And many of those 13% are probably probably due to normal adolescent hormones acting out than repetitive and sustained “bullying.”

    Should we work towards harassment-free environment? Sure. Is it the case that in our schools every third child is bullied? Far from it, despite the scare tactics used in this piece.

    This seems no different than ideologues translating every sexual incident on colleges campuses into rape, ending up with such obvious idiocy as having one in five, or even one in four, college female students “raped.”

    In a sense this is a rape … a rape of common sense by faux statistics.

    Replies

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      Ze’ev, scare tactics are usually employed to promote some type of political agenda. If the data is inflated, would you care to wager a guess as to the agenda?

      Measuring something like bullying is not an exact science. Students might inflate or deflate their experiences for a wide variety of reasons and may pay no heed to the formal definition of bullying when formulating responses.

    • el 2 years ago2 years ago

      I agree that there’s a big difference between a single incident of harassment (which probably cannot get to zero with kids who are still learning how to interact with others) that was successfully addressed by staff and repeated targeting with no recourse for the victim. We want to get to zero, but we shouldn’t conflate the two situations.

    • Jane Meredith Adams 2 years ago2 years ago

      Hi Ze'ev. The data are accurate -- 34 percent, or one in three, California students in grades 7, 9 and 11 reported being bullied at least once in the previous year, according to the data from the 2011-13 California Healthy Kids Survey (http://chks.wested.org/resources/Secondary_State_1113Main.pdf) as reported by Kidsdata.org (http://www.kidsdata.org/topic/621/bullying-any-grade/table#fmt=874&loc=2&tf=81&ch=1142,1170&sortColumnId=0&sortType=asc) The data in the Healthy Kids Survey are reported in a bit of a confusing way -- first broken out by the reason kids think they were bullied, … Read More

      Hi Ze’ev.
      The data are accurate — 34 percent, or one in three, California students in grades 7, 9 and 11 reported being bullied at least once in the previous year, according to the data from the 2011-13 California Healthy Kids Survey (http://chks.wested.org/resources/Secondary_State_1113Main.pdf) as reported by Kidsdata.org (http://www.kidsdata.org/topic/621/bullying-any-grade/table#fmt=874&loc=2&tf=81&ch=1142,1170&sortColumnId=0&sortType=asc)

      The data in the Healthy Kids Survey are reported in a bit of a confusing way — first broken out by the reason kids think they were bullied, then by frequency. Then the numbers are reported in a category called “Any Harassment,” as seen on p. 43 of the 2011-13 report. “Any Harassment” is the category used by the KidsData.org when it states that 33.8 percent is the percentage of California public school students in grades 7, 9, 11, and non-traditional students reporting whether in the past 12 months they have been harassed or bullied at school for any reason.
      Jane

      • Ze'ev Wurman 2 years ago2 years ago

        Dear Jane, (Sorry for previously mangling your name) I did not argue that your reported the numbers inaccurately. I argued that the survey commingles "harassed" and "bullied" together, seemingly without attempting to define the difference to the respondents. If one removes the cases of single or twice-a-year occurrence, one is left with the *maximum* that can be potentially attributed to "bullying" of no more than 13%. If one assumes that some of those should still be counted … Read More

        Dear Jane,

        (Sorry for previously mangling your name)

        I did not argue that your reported the numbers inaccurately. I argued that the survey commingles “harassed” and “bullied” together, seemingly without attempting to define the difference to the respondents. If one removes the cases of single or twice-a-year occurrence, one is left with the *maximum* that can be potentially attributed to “bullying” of no more than 13%. If one assumes that some of those should still be counted more as multiple run-ins with — possibly different — students (i.e., simple harassment), then one concludes that real bullying — which is generally defined as repeated and sustained harassment — is below 10%, possibly much below.

        You, as a reporter, are not responsible for what Healthy Kids Survey did. But please apply your critical thinking before swallowing what CDE and WestEd feed you.

    • Manuel 2 years ago2 years ago

      Ze'ev, it seems to me that you have done a classic "apples to gorillas" comparison. While I don't fully subscribe to the idea that rapes in campus are as prevalent as is claimed (although I have two daughters in college, maybe I should ask them and educate myself), to call the sloppy use of statistics by CDE and West Ed a rape of common sense is a bit too far. A rape, by definition, is a single … Read More

      Ze’ev, it seems to me that you have done a classic “apples to gorillas” comparison.

      While I don’t fully subscribe to the idea that rapes in campus are as prevalent as is claimed (although I have two daughters in college, maybe I should ask them and educate myself), to call the sloppy use of statistics by CDE and West Ed a rape of common sense is a bit too far.

      A rape, by definition, is a single occurrence of a horribly violent act masquerading as sex.

      Bullying, as I understand it (being repeatedly harassed verbally and/or physically), might be, at its most extreme, equivalent to rape since it leaves the victim psychologically devastated.

      To somehow imply that your stat for bullying (10% or below) is something we could live with would not sit well with that 10% or below who are bullied (nor their parents). Just as it would not sit well with a victim of rape, however, few or many there are.

      I don’t know why, but I expected a more nuanced and compassionate view from you.

      • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

        Manuel, I don’t see how logically questioning data in the survey or the manner in which it was reported is to “somehow imply” that Ze’ev is not sympathetic to the victims of bullying. This criticism of yours is totally unfounded.

      • Ze'ev Wurman 2 years ago2 years ago

        Thanks, Don, for your kind response. For Manuel, here is what I wrote: "Should we work towards harassment-free environment? Sure. Is it the case that in our schools every third child is bullied? Far from it, despite the scare tactics used in this piece." Could you please point out where I say, or imply, that "10% or below is something we could live with it"? As to "apples and oranges," let me point you to the recent DOJ report … Read More

        Thanks, Don, for your kind response.

        For Manuel, here is what I wrote:

        “Should we work towards harassment-free environment? Sure. Is it the case that in our schools every third child is bullied? Far from it, despite the scare tactics used in this piece.”

        Could you please point out where I say, or imply, that “10% or below is something we could live with it”?

        As to “apples and oranges,” let me point you to the recent DOJ report on rape rates on college campuses. Not only it is around 0.6% per year — not even close to the 20-25% rate touted by our president — it is about 20% LOWER than for women living outside college campuses. Should we work to lower the 0.6%? Sure. Is it an epidemic? Not by a long shot.

        http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5176

        • Manuel 2 years ago2 years ago

          Ze'ev, you should stop using dog whistles. Words like "swallowing," "far from it," and "touted" are dog whistles in this context. In a world replete with dubious use of statistics ("all children will be proficient in 12 years" or "an effective teacher in 3rd grade translates to a highly paid jop for a student 25 years later") you had to go and drag out the rape brouhaha into the case presented poorly by the CDE and … Read More

          Ze’ev, you should stop using dog whistles. Words like “swallowing,” “far from it,” and “touted” are dog whistles in this context.

          In a world replete with dubious use of statistics (“all children will be proficient in 12 years” or “an effective teacher in 3rd grade translates to a highly paid jop for a student 25 years later”) you had to go and drag out the rape brouhaha into the case presented poorly by the CDE and West Ed. (Parenthetically, “Hunting Ground” is rather troubling as was “The Invisible War.”)

          Sure, there is a great problem when some people use rape statistics to advance their case, but why did you have to drag that into this? Because you can paint Obama as a liar as you just did but not in so many words?

          Dog whistles, Ze’ev, are dangerous.

          But if I have to explain that to a man with your experience and education, what’s the point?

          • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

            It strikes me as peculiar, Manuel, that you would say you don't fully subscribe to Obama's statistics then fault Ze'ev for the same. Touting is what one does to promote an unsubstantiated claim. "I don't fully subscribe" is a way to express the same idea. Even if Obama is inflating the numbers by 100%, in 2 years the chance of one of your daughters being victimized is 40-50%. As you said - "although … Read More

            It strikes me as peculiar, Manuel, that you would say you don’t fully subscribe to Obama’s statistics then fault Ze’ev for the same. Touting is what one does to promote an unsubstantiated claim. “I don’t fully subscribe” is a way to express the same idea.

            Even if Obama is inflating the numbers by 100%, in 2 years the chance of one of your daughters being victimized is 40-50%.

            As you said – “although I have two daughters in college, maybe I should ask them and educate myself.”

            • Manuel 2 years ago2 years ago

              Don, I probably shouldn't waste my time on you, but for the benefit of the peanut gallery there is a world of difference between expressing some skepticism based on personal opinion (I did go to college, you know) but admitting that the world has changed since then and using the current controversy over rape to equate it to a controversy over bullying and then for good measure rake over the coals the author of the … Read More

              Don, I probably shouldn’t waste my time on you, but for the benefit of the peanut gallery there is a world of difference between expressing some skepticism based on personal opinion (I did go to college, you know) but admitting that the world has changed since then and using the current controversy over rape to equate it to a controversy over bullying and then for good measure rake over the coals the author of the report for “swallowing” whatever CDE is peddling.

              If I have to explain that further to you (after referring to those two documentaries which are very much in the public’s mind), then I am truly wasting my time.

              Maybe I should not even be wasting my time reading the comments section which used to be very informative and came from many involved in the education world. What’s the point when things veer so off-topic or are so one-note?

              Dog whistles, Don, dog whistles.

  6. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    Bullying like other unwanted and injurious student behaviors is a barometer of school climate. So why is bullying continuing unabated when suspensions and expulsions are dropping dramatically supposedly due to more effective behavioral intervention and improving school climate as Carl Cohn maintained in a recent Ed Source article?

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      I agree suspensions should be allowed, but part of this is definition. Making fun of a bully for being violent used to be considered a defense mechanism and they'd generally mellow out eventually. Now that's bullying. You're seen as bullying the bully. They call kids being kids bullying. Much of this is girls, and they aren't stealing each other's lunch money, they're deciding they no longer want to be friends … Read More

      I agree suspensions should be allowed, but part of this is definition. Making fun of a bully for being violent used to be considered a defense mechanism and they’d generally mellow out eventually. Now that’s bullying. You’re seen as bullying the bully. They call kids being kids bullying. Much of this is girls, and they aren’t stealing each other’s lunch money, they’re deciding they no longer want to be friends with someone or making a joke about someone. Now true daily harassment of someone should be stopped, but they’re calling everything bullying. In my day you’d fight and talk it out. Now people just avoid people they don’t like out of fear of being accused of bullying. They don’t try to work it out, they just walk away. It’s not worth it. A kid makes one joke and they’re in an office talking to a psychologist for hours about feelings while other kids beat them into the UCs. The whole climate is hypersensitive. People are wimps now they can’t take a joke. No one is perfect. Live and laugh. If some of these kids who say they’re being bullied were transported back 30-40 years in a time machine and sent to the same school, they’d crack, they wouldn’t be able to take it. There is no longer physical or mental toughness.

  7. Paul Muench 2 years ago2 years ago

    What are the root causes?