Bullying report shouldn’t be shelved

An editorial from The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — A year-long study of bullying incidents in state schools that was presented Sunday to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education found, not surprisingly in our view, that problems are most prevalent in middle school.

According to the report, 47 percent of all school discipline referrals for bullying, harassment or intimidation occurred in middle school, while 29 percent of those incidents occurred in high school and 24 percent in elementary school.

By grade level, 17 percent of those referrals were from seventh grade, followed by sixth and eighth grades at 14 percent and 16 percent.

By definition, bullying is described as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated over time,” according to the report.

We say these numbers are not surprising because these are the ages when many children are growing through many changes physically and mentally and may be predisposed to taking their uncertainty and feelings of inferiority or superiority out on others who may not yet be inclined to defend themselves.

But we don’t see this report as just another set of statistics to be glanced over and set back on the shelf…

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