Thursday, July 21, 2011

"cyberbullying feels like something they can't get away from"

While the foundation sponsors surveys every two years among the region's middle and high schools, it had never before asked its consultant to look at overlap between categories - in this case students who reported mental health problems and those who identified themselves as bullying victims. 
The prompt, Donham said, is a lingering perception among some parents - and even a few teachers - that bullying is something students usually work their way through, more an obnoxious rite of childhood than a serious danger. 
There have also been questions about why the foundation is treating bullying as a health issue deserving grant money, and questions about whether bullying is a classroom issue when much of the harassment takes place off school grounds.
But the data show a clear picture of mental health harm likely to impede learning, harm that includes stress, symptoms of depression, self-injury, serious consideration of suicide - and even attempted suicide, among roughly 578 students.
"I think that's alarming," Donham said of the suicide numbers. "I think that warrants some looking at."

Read more:

Another report, another view, this time from the Boston Globe:

Sharply contrasting findings, from a Globe survey of the state’s 10 largest school systems, casts light on a lingering controversy over the Massachusetts law: What, if anything, should schools report about bullying among their students to authorities at the district or state level?
Read more at the Boston Globe.


  1. "bullying is something students usually work their way through, more an obnoxious rite of childhood than a serious danger."

    This statement is the main issue with bullying I think, it's all very well adults telling kids that something stressful and emotionally painful isn't a problem but as a child your experiences are so limited that it is hard to cope with negative experiences in the same way that you might as an adult. It's easy for adults/parents to brush bullying aside as part of growing up but it doesn't feel like that at the time.

  2. Jim, I recall bullying type incidents from my own childhood and some of them are still painful. Did they help make me what I am today? Probably. Am I better for it? Maybe. Did I get help then to deal with it? Maybe not as good as is available today. Hence, I think we should recognize and have these tough conversations more openly. Putting them aside doesn't help resolve the issue.