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Nearly 1-In-5 LAUSD Students Report They Have Been Bullied This School Year

Photo via Harvard-Westlake School/Instagram
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A report released February 9 by the Los Angeles Unified School District studied student bullying within the system, and the district's response. According to the report, 19% of all students surveyed claimed that the have experienced bullying at some point in this school year. Furthermore, 43% of student respondents say they have experienced cyber-bullying this school year.

Mother Jones adds that the so-called "Trump Effect" has caused a noticable uptick in bullying and hate speech among students since the election of Donald Trump in November.

“[Children] have access to the same content, language, images, and words that adults have access to,” Robert Trestan, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League of New England Trestan, said, reports the Boston Globe. “And we have seen more and more hate content becoming part of the mainstream.”

“Part of a school’s purpose is to create A-plus human beings, who get along and speak to each other in respectful ways,” Ron Avi Astor, professor at the USC schools of social work and education, told the Los Angeles Times of the district's recent bullying report. “If you are able to create a school that makes kids happy, where there’s a good school climate, it not only becomes fertile ground for creating civic, democratic and communal values but also for strong academic gains.”

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26% of elementary school students stated that bullying is a large problem at his or her school, the LAUSD report continued. And size or height was the top reason a student was bullied in both middle school (16%) and high school (11%).

"Based on our benchmarking analysis, we found that the number of staff that oversees the District’s anti-bullying initiatives and efforts was notably below the staff-to-student ratios as compared to other school districts who manage anti-bullying program(s)," an internal audit by the LAUSD Office of the Inspector General concluded. The OIG further recommended that the district increase anti-bullying training among both teachers and parents, as well as create "a website and free software application (app) accessible to LAUSD students and parents that allows for anonymous bullying reports in order to capture incidents that would otherwise be unreported by those uncomfortable with in person complaints."