Survey shows a staggering number of children get bullied in schoolMoorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - A Minnesota Department of Education survey shows a staggering number of children get bullied in school. While more students are getting taunted in middle school, fewer are in high school.
By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY
Minnesota Public Radio compiled the data from this latest student study. A voluntary study districts do every three years. It maps victimization rates for 6th, 9th, and 12th grades.
As the clock strikes 3:25, Brandon Standy gets anxious.
BRANDON STANDY - Moorhead Senior: “6th or 7th grade I started getting bullied.”
The Moorhead Senior walks down the long school hall, worrying what will come.
BRANDON STANDY - Moorhead Senior: “People on the bus just don't like me. They used to throw money at the back of my head. I've gotten into numerous fights because of the pain they've caused me, just a lot of emotional abuse.”
Standy may feel alone, but isn't. 12 percent of 12th graders here report being bullied at least once a week. The majority are girls.
TANAYA JACKSON - Moorhead Sophomore: “It's like something I got used to because it just happens so much.”
The unsettling number is much higher than the state's average of 7.4 percent.
TANAYA JACKSON - Moorhead Sophomore: “It happens a lot more than what people think, but they don't say anything about it because they're scared and they don't want to get bullied anymore.”
Although startling, the Minnesota Department of Education study brings some comfort. The bullying starts sooner, but ends earlier. For example, 21 percent of Moorhead freshman say they are teased. That drastically drops nine percent by the time they graduate.
JORDAN THOMPSON - Moorhead Junior: “Most bullies become bullies because they were bullied so they pick on other kids so they don't get picked on.”
The study doesn't find a strong relation between rates of victimization and bullying policies. Moorhead's started in 2004. Instead Superintendent Lynne Kovash credits education and the maturing children themselves.
LYNNE KOVASH - Moorhead School Superintendent: “The problem is we need to look at a comprehensive plan. It's not just a school issue. I truly believe it's a society issue.”
Even Brandon Standy admits life is somewhat better. He's now ignoring his bullies.
BRANDON STANDY - Moorhead Senior: “It's just hard to go through life know that there's always going to be someone that's bigger than you and thinks they're cooler than you.”
No data was given for Moorhead 6th graders. The district doesn't yet keep track of the number of students bullied or their punishments. Punishments can range from warnings to expulsions. The district has never expelled a student for bullying.