New study reveals high school bullying statistics - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New study reveals high school bullying statistics

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- A new national study shows more than half of surveyed high school students admitted to bullying in the past year.

The study, conducted by the Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics, surveyed more than 43,000 high school students nationwide.

Half of the students admitted to bullying someone in the past year, and 47 percent reported they'd been a victim of bullying or teasing in the past year.

Also, the study found a third of all the students surveyed said violence is a "big problem" at their school.

Diane Frambach is the high school guidance and counseling chair at Dubuque's Hempstead High School.

"Every school district, ourselves included, has to take bullying very seriously," Frambach said, "because when you push it far enough, kids could be at risk of harming themselves because they feel it's ongoing and they can't escape it."

She said the Dubuque Community School District tries to curb bullying from a young age with classes in elementary schools. She said bullying at a high school level can take on a more serious form.

"They have access to technology that sometimes younger kids do not. It's what's posted on Facebook and what gets texted," Frambach said.

The principal of Dubuque's Wahlert Catholic High School, Ron Meyers, agrees.

"It's so easy to do that now," Meyers said, "to make comments you wouldn't say to them face-to-face, and you think you can hide behind that."

They survey shows that when it comes to public versus religious private schools, students in religious private high schools are almost five times less likely than public high school students to feel violence is a big problem at their school.

"The fact that we are Christian and there are certain expectations tied to our religion, regardless if our students are Catholic or of another denomination, the expectations is you're going to respect each other first," Meyers said.

The numbers are similar at public and private high schools, however, when it comes to bullying or being bullied.

Counselors say parents can - and should - make a difference.

"Talk to them, ask them questions, know who they're with and where they're going. Look at the Facebook posts. Monitor the cell phone use," Frambach said. "It takes some extra time and effort to really monitor what's going on with kids at this age, but you need to."

She said fellow students can help by reporting bullying when they see it, whether it comes in person or electronically.

To see the breakdown of the report for yourself or for suicide prevention statistics and tips, check out the links on the left of the page.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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