Report: Schools Fail to Address Bullying, Violence Prevention

Only 26 percent of parents would give their child’s high school an “A” for preventing bullying and school violence, and 38 percent of parents would give their child’s elementary or junior high an “A,” according to a report released Sept. 8 by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

One in five parents give their children’s secondary school a borderline or failing grade (a “D” or “F”) for bullying prevention and school violence prevention, while one in ten parents give their children’s primary school a borderline or failing grade. Results did not differ by whether parents lived in states with bullying prevention laws or not.

“What this poll shows is that parents are still very concerned about bullying in their schools. About three-quarters of states nationwide have implemented bullying prevention laws that are designed to encourage, and in some cases force schools to present and deliver bullying prevention curriculum to students,” says Matthew Davis, M.D., director of the poll and associate professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the U-M Medical School, and an associate professor of public policy at the U-M Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. “But based on these findings, it doesn’t appear that those curricula or programs are working effectively.” (Story continues below.)

The poll asked 1,087 parents across the United States in May 2009 to assign their child’s school an A through F grade in five categories: overall safety, building security, bullying and school violence prevention, keeping students safe during a school-wide emergency, and keeping parents informed in the event of a school-wide emergency.

Parents grades for other school safety concerns:

  • Overall safety: 59 percent of parents would give their child’s primary school an “A,” while 33 percent of parents would give their child’s secondary school an “A.”
  • Keeping parents informed in a school-wide emergency: 64 percent of parents would give their child’s primary school an “A,” while 46 percent of parents would give their child’s secondary school an “A.”
  • Keeping their child safe during a school-wide emergency: 62 percent of parents would give their child’s primary school an “A,“while 36 percent of parents would give their child’s secondary school an “A.”
  • Building security: 49 percent of parents would give their child’s primary school an “A,” while 33 percent of parents would give their child’s secondary school an “A.”

To read the full report, click here.

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