TOPEKA — Schools across the state are observing Kansas Anti-Bullying Awareness Week from Oct. 4-10. This year’s theme is “Choose Peace.”
In Kansas, more than one in five students (21.1%) reported they had been bullied on school property, according to the 2019 Kansas Youth Risk Behavior Survey for grades ninth through 12th. About one in six (17.2%) Kansas students said they had been bullied electronically. Nationally, about 20% of students ages 12 to 18 have experienced bullying, according to stopbullying.gov, a United States government website.
Students ages 12-18 experience various types of bullying, including being the subject of rumors or lies (13.4%); being made fun of, called names or insulted (13%); pushed, shoved, tripped or spit on (5.3%); excluded (5.2%); threatened with harm (3.9%); other tried to make them do things they didn’t want to do (1.9%); and property was destroyed on purpose (1.4%), according to stopbullying.gov.
“Bullying affects all youth, including those who are bullied, those who bully others and those who witness bullying,” the website states. “The effects of bullying may continue into adulthood. Solutions to bullying are not simple. Bullying prevention approaches that show the most promise confront the problem from many angles. They involved the entire school community – students, families, administrators, teachers and staff, such as bus drivers, nurses, cafeteria and front office staff – in creating a culture of respect. Bystanders, or those who see bullying, can make a huge difference when they intervene on behalf of someone being bullied.”
Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson in March 2019 created the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying to research and identify bullying trends, data and prevention measures occurring across Kansas in an effort to better understand how to combat the complex issue. The group had listening events across Kansas where members of the public were welcome to share their thoughts and ideas on bullying. Information from the listening events was compiled and used to develop recommendations that have been put into place.
For more information about the recommendations, Kansas Anti-Bullying Week or for resources to help stop bullying, visithttps://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Career-Standards-and-Assessment-Services/Content-Area-M-Z/School-Counseling/School-Counseling-Resources/Anti-Bullying-Awareness.