Bullying based on race, national origin prevalent in California public schools
SAN FRANCISCO — One in three, that’s the proportion of California public school students who reported being bullied or harassed at school in the previous year, according to 2011-13 data just posted on kidsdata.org.
School staff members recognize the issue, with 37 percent reporting in a related survey that bullying was a “moderate” or “severe” problem at their school.
Race or national origin tops the list of cited reasons for bullying or harassment in all grades. Higher percentages of African American, Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students reported incidents compared to students from other racial/ethnic backgrounds. Sexual orientation is the next most common reason cited, followed by gender, religion and disability.
Bullying and harassment are associated with long-term negative outcomes for both the bullied and students who do the bullying.
Even just witnessing bullying can evoke negative feelings. Recent federal, state and school policy changes have addressed various aspects of bullying and harassment, but the problem persists.
Experts suggest that a comprehensive strategy, which includes building up protective factors—such as caring relationships with adults—while also addressing related behaviors—such as substance abuse and violence—is most likely to succeed.