National numbers regarding bullying have been released, and Mark Tallman with the Kansas Association of School Boards sees some things in the report he didn’t expect.
“The good news is, about 80% of students nationwide did not report bullying,” said Tallman. “That still means that about one in five students said they experienced something that they perceived as bullying. I think we all have to be concerned about that high a number.”
The gender breakdown of the statistics is also of interest.
“More girls reported being bullied,” said Tallman. “Significantly more girls reported cyberbullying or texting. That’s something that’s gotten a lot of interest, with the increase in cell phones and all of that. We hear much more about what we call cyberbullying. That is a particular challenge for schools, because it is much harder to control.”
The task force that is continuing to meet on the issue here in Kansas hopes to have results back in short order, and their next meeting is less than two weeks away.
“The group is meeting again in Salina,” said Tallman. “At every meeting, they are having open forums or a kind of hearing where people can come and share experiences or suggestions. It’s leading up to recommendations that will, I think, go to the State Board of Education first. If some of those recommendations have to do with legislation or issues that the Legislature would have to respond to, it would go on to it the next session.”
Among students reporting being bullied, slightly under half said they notified an adult.