Study: Student Bullying of Teenage Boys Worse On the School Bus

Student Bullying

Those of us who rode on the school bus daily as children most likely remember it as a place where a lot of tomfoolery took place.  Songs were sung, things were thrown around and jokes were told.  Unfortunately, student bullying also occurred on a regular basis.  Until recently, we didn’t really know much of anything about the student bullying that occurred on the school bus.  That all changed with the publishing of a new study that looked at bullying in this setting.  The study also delved into student bullying in different contexts.  It seems that the more we learn about when and where bullying occurs, the bigger difference we can make.  Below you’ll find an overview of the student bullying study in hopes that it will help people continue to spread awareness with regards to this troubling societal problem.

About the Student Bullying Study

An epidemiologist at Ottawa Public Health in Canada led the study.  The researchers looked at several different modes of transportation to and from school in Ontario.  Specifically, the team reviewed data from a health survey that students completed in 2013.  10,272 students between grades 7 and 12 answered a range of questions.  Two of these questions concerned how they got to and from school every day and how often they were bullied if they had experienced such a thing.  The researchers uncovered the following information:

  • Nearly 25 percent of the students reported that they had been bullied during the previous 12 months.
  • Overall, 27 percent of girls had been bullied.
  • Overall, 22 percent of boys had been bullied.
  • More than one-third of girls whose parents did not go to college had been bullied.
  • Nearly one-quarter of boys whose parents did not go to college had been bullied.
  • Children whose parents did not go to college were more likely to be bullied than those whose parents attended college.
  • Lower-income children were more likely to be bullied than those from higher-income homes.

In terms of transportation to and from school, the researchers found the following percentages of children who were bullied:

  • School bus – 29 percent of boys/31 percent of girls
  • Public transportation – 24 percent of boys/19 percent of girls
  • Walked or rode bicycles – 20 percent of boys/nearly 33 percent of girls
  • Private vehicle – 16 percent of boys/24 percent of girls

What the Student Bullying Study Tells Us

This student bullying study could prove to be important for several reasons.  First, it tells us that girls are generally bullied at a higher rate than boys.  This is largely consistent with other research from different parts of the world.  Secondly, children from lower-income families are more likely to be bullied, which is also consistent with other research.  Finally, it appears that bullying is rampant on school buses.  That could be due to nothing more than having a high number of children gathered in one small place for a period of time.  The researchers who completed the study believe simply that more research needs to be done on this topic so that more definitive answers can be identified.  The researchers also argued that schools should take a closer look at the environment on school buses.  Doing so could identify steps to curb bullying as children go to and from school every day.  Those who are interested in reading the abstract of the study can find it here.

School Bus Bullying – Some Possible Statistics

If it’s assumed that the rate of student bullying on school buses in the United States is relatively similar to that which occurs in Canada, then the number of children who are bullied on school buses in the United States is extremely high.  Approximately 25 million children take the school bus to and/or from school every day.  As such, more than 3.5 million boys and 3.5 million girls are bullied on American school buses every year.  That’s more than 7 million children who are mistreated in ways that can lead to substantial harm both in an immediate sense and later in life.

Ideas for Handling School Bus Bullying

The first thing that any concerned parent needs to do with regards to this issue is to pay attention for warning signs of bullying.  This means that parents need to watch both for signs that their child is being bullied and that their child is engaging in bullying.  We recently published an article that covers warning signs for both of these serious problems.  Regardless of whether you think your child is being bullied or bullying others, you need to take immediate action.

If you discover that your child is being bullied on a school bus, the first thing you need to consider doing is speaking to the proper people at the school district.  When you do so, you should:

  • Explain exactly what happened
  • Provide dates and other specifics
  • Ask for immediate action
  • Ask for specifics regarding any action promised
  • Determine dates for said action
  • Name a contact at the school district with whom you can discuss the progress of the situation

If you do not feel that you are getting the responses and, ultimately, the actions needed, you may need to take the next step in order to protect the safety of your child.  If you feel that your child is in immediate danger or he or she has been seriously harmed, you may also need to consider contacting law enforcement to file a report.

How Children’s Rights Lawyers Can Help

If your child is being or has been harmed and you’re just not sure where to turn, you should not abandon hope.  Instead, you should seek the guidance of professionals who handle these situations on a daily basis and who can help you decide how you should proceed so that you are working from a foundation of knowledge.  If you find yourself in this difficult situation, contact the children’s rights lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible for a free case evaluation.

Posted in: Children's Rights
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