Classroom no haven from bullying in school

Nov. 13, 2009 at 6:03 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Many assume bullying in school occurs mostly in unsupervised locations like lunchrooms, but a lot of it occurs in classrooms, U.S. researchers found.

Lead researchers H. Wesley Perkins at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., and colleagues used anonymous online surveys conducted with more than 10,000 middle-school students.

Their research found that within the most recent month, 43 percent had been physically bullied; 51 percent teased in an unfriendly way; 50 percent called hurtful names; 31 percent excluded from a group to hurt their feelings; 28 percent had belongings taken or broken; 39 percent had an unkind rumor spread about them; and 21 percent were threatened to be hurt.

One out of four students had skipped recess, not gone to the bathroom, lunch or a class, pretended to be sick, went home or avoided a hallway to get away from a bully, the researchers said.

Fifty percent to 57 percent of bullying occurred in the classroom, lunchroom and hallways.

"These findings show that it is erroneous to think of the classroom as a safe haven from bullying and to think that more remote or less monitored areas of school are necessarily the greatest risk for students," Perkins said in a statement.

The findings were presented at the American Public Health Association's 137th annual meeting & exposition in Philadelphia.

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