• Sun, Dec 29 - 1:00 pm ET

The NYC Department Of Health’s Study On Bullying Is A Step In The Right Direction

study on bullying

Boom Boom! Revolution

Anyone who has ever been bullied (which is probably everyone at some point in their life) will tell you that it can and often does have lasting consequences. But before now, those consequences have never really been studied. Well, the NYC Health Department is looking to change that.

According to the study, one in five high school kids admit to being bullied at some point. According to Dr. Roger Platt:

“So they’re not only a vulnerable group in terms of being bullied, but they’re vulnerable from a long term health perspective.”

The study also shows that bullied teenagers are more likely to smoke, drink and try drugs. Almost half show symptoms of depression, and an astounding 15 percent report suicide attempts. Bullied kids are also three times more likely to miss school due to feeling unsafe, and are two times as likely to bring a weapon to school.As one senior who was interviewed put it:

“After they get bullied, they might be insecure. They don’t feel safe and to feel safe they might have a weapon – a knife as security.”

The NYC Department of Education is also making strides when it comes to bullying. They recently launched an online resource center for bullying called “Respect For All.” One student, Rowan Morgan, believes that the only way to stop bullying is to spread awareness, which I think should be a given, to be honest:

“The only way to end this problem – bullying – in all the schools is we have people students and peers who teach classes and others how dangerous bullying is.”

I was bullied merciless as a little kid, though thankfully it had mostly subsided by high school. Still, there have been lasting effects. To this day, I have moments of feeling painfully shy, and I remember feeling distinctly unsafe when I would go to school. I can only imagine, in this age of social media, that the issue is much worse today than it was when I was a child. I hope there are more studies done like the one from the NY Department of Health. It might be long over due and not enough, but it’s absolutely a step in the right direction.

What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • Kay_Sue

    I find it surprising that no one has considered studying the long term effects of bullying. I am interested to see what their findings will be.

  • AP

    I’m glad they’re working on this, but forming a task force isn’t really going to do anything. A huge part of the problem with bullying is that schools start playing procedural games, (A teacher didn’t see it so it didn’t happen, both get detention because both were involved in a “fight”, maybe the victim shouldn’t have been near the bully, maybe the bully has a crush on the victim, etc.,) and refuse to administer anything resembling corrective action to the bully and justice for the victim.

    I think the most dehumanizing part of being bullied is asking for help and being completely and totally ignored- gaslighted, even- by the adults who are supposed to be helping you, or being told it’s your fault that you’ve been assaulted and had your belongings stolen or vandalized, and then punishing you instead.

    It makes national news and people get fired when the criminal justice system behaves in such an unsupportive, unfair way. But kids get subjected to that on a daily basis in school, and instead we get task forces and “golden rule” assemblies? Nope.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      In our school, kids can fill out an incident report, no teacher has to see it, and the bully gets called up to the office fairly fast. I do believe that an incident report filled out by a student carries more weight than anything I ever report. I can only speak for the school I work for, of course, but we never ignore it. Now when I was a kid….that’s another story.

    • SarahJesness

      What bothers me about school bullying is that it’s not treated with any amount of seriousness because kids are doing it, and the kids being picked on should “toughen up” or try to avoid the situation. But what does it teach the kids, both the bullies and the victims? A lot of the crap school bullies can get away with are things that they could get in trouble for in any other environment. Not every boss will let any employee get away with insulting the other employees. And in the adult world, you know what a lot of “bullying” behavior is called? “Harassment”. See how harmless it is when Jimmy is 18 and gets a restraining order filed against him for his name-calling and threatening phone calls.

  • SarahJesness

    Awareness? People are plenty aware. The real issue is that schools don’t enforce their anti-bullying policies very well. At my high school, the teachers didn’t seem to have any power to punish misbehaving students. A student who always disrupted class and frequently picked on me would get sent to the office, but the office would just send him right back because we can’t deprive the piece of garbage his education, now can we? The teacher really wanted to do something about him but had no power to do so.

    A lot of schools don’t want to deal with the hassle, especially when parents start complaining and fighting back when their precious garbage-child gets in trouble for picking on other students. Oh, the excuses parents come up with…

  • Kirby

    Bullying happens because there is weak, and there is strong.

    This is the law among men and beasts. This is the law among nations.

    Why be surprised that children follow it too?

    • Rachel Sea

      Power play happens because humans are hierarchical, but bullying is a social norm, it doesn’t exist universally. If our culture stopped condoning bullying, we could have power play without physical, and emotional violence.