Data from more than 15,000 high schools across the country was collected an analyzed. Students were asked if they had ever been bullied on school grounds and if they had carried a weapon onto school grounds.
“With estimates of more than 200,000 victims of bullying carrying a weapon to high school, more effective prevention efforts and intervention strategies need to be identified,” said principal investigator Dr. Lana Schapiro, in a press release. “The greatest focus should not just be on bullies, but on the victims of bullies most likely to carry a weapon and potentially use deadly force if threatened.”
Once researchers looked at the relationship between those who had been bullied and if they brought a weapon onto school property, they found the threat in the 20 percent of high school students who reported being bullied. The data showed those who were victims of bullying were typically in lower grades, white and females.
“The CDC gave us the dots — we connected them. The data is staggering,” lead author Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, told NBC News.” Looking at these risk factors, it’s not hard to know who’s most likely to carry a weapon to school.” The findings from the study will be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Vancouver, B.C.
If a student had multiple risk factors, such as if they were Caucasian and in their first year of high school, the likelihood of them bringing a weapon onto school property dramatically increased. Up to 28
percent of bullied students with one risk factor brought a weapon, while 62 percent of students with all three factors brought a weapon onto school property.