The results of the study “Ethics of American Youth” was released on Tuesday and showed that high school bullying affected over half of all student in the past year.
The study has been conducted every other year since 1992 and interviews 40,000 high school students. The non-profit Josephson Institute of Ethics conducts the study that shows how things such as bullying, violence and weapons affect the average high school student.
According to the results half of students surveyed admitted to bulling someone else in the past year with almost that many admitting to being a victim of a bully in the same time frame. One-third of the students questioned stated that they believed violence was a serious problem at their school and one in four confessed that they do not feel safe at school. Those rates went down in private schools to less than 10 percent.
Parents may be surprised to learned that ten percent of students surveyed admitted to having taken a weapon to school at least one time in the 12 months prior to the study. Another sixteen percent went to school intoxicated at least once and more than half of those students surveyed have hit someone simply because they were upset at the time.
Coincidentally the study results were released the same day that the Obama administration handed out new guidelines for educators that detail how to handle bullying and harassment in school. In the future administrators at school can be cited and lose federal funding due to civil right violations if they do not adequately handle harassment that is based on gender, race and other issues.
Harassment and bullying have taken center stage nationwide in light of recent suicides by victims of bullying on high school and college campuses. President Obama has said that it is time to become more aware of the problem and quit believing that bullying is a normal part of growing up.
The new guidelines were sent to thousands of schools, colleges and universities. The White House will hold a conference next year on how prevent bullying in school.