2012 National Bullying Survey Shows High Suicide Risk For Bullied Kids

Dec 2012

This December, the 2012 National Bullying Survey was released. The results are based on the survey responses of principals from more than 2,000 K-12 schools nationwide. Unfortunately, the responses demonstrate that anti-bullying efforts must be increased and that those who are bullied are at risk of suicide.

Our Dallas suicide attorneys urge schools, educators and parents to pay close attention to the results of the survey. To protect students and help to prevent the suicide deaths of young adults, schools must do more to curb bullying and to educate kids using integrated anti-bullying programs so they have a better understanding of just how devastating bullying can be.

Bullying Behavior Puts Kids at Risk

Bullying behavior can be hard for anyone, child or adult, to withstand without experiencing emotional problems as a result. Tragically, despite many anti-bullying campaigns and despite many high profile deaths as a result of bullying, the problem of bullying in schools has not gone away.

As the 2012 National Bullying Survey shows:

  • More than 50 percent of middle school principals report that bullying is one of their top five problems.
  • 32 percent of elementary school principals name bullying as one of their top five problems.
  • 36 percent of high school principals count bullying among their top five issues.
  • Only one out of every six principals responding to the survey reported that bullying had decreased as a result of anti-bullying programs or initiatives.
  • Cyber bullying has become the biggest bullying issue in a high school setting.

Sadly these results show that educational efforts may not be having a very strong impact at curbing bullying behavior. The respondents to the study, however, indicated that anti-bullying lessons that were integrated into the curriculum tended to be more effective than separate anti-bullying programs.

The Link Between Bullying and Suicide

Tragically, bullying can have a serious impact on the lives of those who are victims and can significantly increase the risk that a young adult will commit suicide. This link between bullying and suicide can be seen in the fact that thirteen percent of high school principals responding to the 2012 National Bullying Survey reported that a student had either attempted suicide or committed suicide because of bullying behavior.

Both physical and verbal abuse can cause kids to think about suicide, and cyber bullying has only exacerbated the problem because young adults may no longer be able to escape the bullying behavior at home. Bullying can reduce a child or teen’s self esteem, inspire fear, make him afraid that the bullying will never end, and cause depression. All of these different outcomes of bullying can trigger suicidal behavior.

Schools need to do more to protect their students from being bullied and to reinforce the lesson that bullying is a terrible practice that should never be tolerated. Integrated anti-bullying programs may be one way to help get this message across. Schools also need to continue to step up both education and enforcement efforts as they have an obligation to provide a safe environment for all of their students and to do everything possible to prevent suicides caused by bullies.

If you lost a loved  one to suicide, contact the Dallas Law Offices of Skip Simpson, dedicated to holding mental health counselors accountable. Call  214-618-8222.

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