School bullying does not directly cause more students to skip school, but challenges to the underlying social and emotional complexities exist, new research shows.
According to a report released Friday by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, victims of school bullying are often, as a result of social and emotional hurdles, distanced from learning, disadvantaged academically and more likely to fall behind in school attendance.
Although the researchers did not find a strong direct correlation between victimization and truancy, the study is limited in its quantitative analysis of just 6th graders within a single suburban Denver school district.
"Parents and schools across the country worry about the devastating harm school bullying can cause, and we share this concern for our nation's children," OJJDP Acting Administrator Jeff Slowikowski said in a statement Friday.
"This new study highlights the impact of school bullying and recommends effective anti-bullying strategies that schools can implement to keep students safe."
Among OJJDP's recommended strategies for school bullying:
- Offer mentoring programs
- Provide students with opportunities for community service
- Address the difficult transition between elementary and middle school (from one single classroom teacher to teams of teachers with periods and class changes in a large school)
- Start prevention programs early.
Researchers also surveyed teachers, who suggested fostering a sense of community in school, model caring behavior and teach students to care for their communities. Caveats for these recommendations, however, are evident in school administrators who "sweep school bullying under the rug" or in school districts' attempts to address school bullying by requiring teachers to teach a prescribed curriculum, which educators consider "ineffective substitutes for much-needed district and administrative support and professional development."
Wyman encourages you to CONTINUE READING this article on school bullying.