Bullying in NYC Public Schools Up 10 Percent from Last Year
A study from the NYC Department of Education shows bullying has increased by 10 percent, although it has been disputed as questions have changed slightly.
The New York City Department of Education has released data from a recent study which indicates bullying has increased by 10 percent from last year.
The annual NYC School Survey’s results were published on August 8 by the Education Department. The survey was administered to 433,715 public school students in grades 6-12.
The survey consists of 11 different questions with one of the questions solely dedicated to bullying and violence in school. Each question has several statements below it, and the students are asked to choose 1 through 4 for each statement, with 1 representing “None of the time”, 2 representing “Rarely”, 3 representing “Some of the time” and 4 representing “Most of the time”.
The question related to bullying and violence states, “How often are the following things true?” The four statements related specifically to bullying are:
- At this school students harass, bully, or intimidate other students.
- At this school students harass, bully, or intimidate each other because of their race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or citizenship/immigration status.
- At this school students harass, bully, or intimidate each other because of their gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
- At this school students harass, bully, or intimidate each other because of other differences, like disability or weight.
This year, 81 percent responded to statement A with a 2, 3 or 4, according to the New York Daily News.
Last year, that number was 71 percent from a sample size of 434,693 students.
Department of Education Claims Results Can’t Be Compared
Although the percentage of students who say bullying occurs has increased since 2016, Education Department spokesman Will Mantell says that data from this year’s questions cannot be compared to last year’s data as the questions are not the same.
For example, in 2017, 65 percent of students said kids bullied each other at school because of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or citizenship/immigration status. Last year, the question only included race or ethnicity, which 55% of students said occurred.
Similarly, in 2017, 73 percent of students said kids were bullied over differences like disability or weight. A question on the 2016 survey combined the differences of national origin, citizenship/immigration status, religion, disability, or weight, into one question, which 55 percent of students said occurred.
However, the question surrounding gender identity was the same in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, 46 percent of students said kids at school were bullied based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. That number increased to 59 percent in 2017.
Critics of the city’s handling of school safety have admonished the current administration.
“Under Mayor de Blasio’s leadership, our schools continue to get less and less safe,” says Jeremiah Kittredge, CEO of the pro-charter school lobbying group Families for Excellent Schools. “The mayor must face facts, and act immediately to keep children safe from violence and bullying.”
Other Student Statistics from 2017 Survey
Although bullying numbers have seemed to increase, Mantell points out that the majority of students who responded to the survey said that they feel safe while at school.
“Over the 11 years of the school survey, on questions that have remained the same, the percentage of students feeling safe in school hallways and teachers feeling that order and discipline are maintained have both increased,” says Mantell.
In the 2017 survey, 91 percent of students strongly agreed they feel safe in their classes. That number was the same in the 2016 survey.
In 2017, 84 percent of students strongly agreed they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms, locker rooms, and cafeteria, compared to 83 percent in 2016.
Also surveyed in 2017 were 506,778 parents.
The survey shows a slight increase in parental participation in the survey from 2016 to 2017, from 53 percent to 54 percent in Queens, 52 percent to 53 percent in Brooklyn, 49 percent to 51 percent in the Bronx, and 50 percent to 52 percent in Manhattan.
Parent respondents’ satisfaction with NYC public schools has remained high over the last three years:
- In 2015, 2016, and 2017, 95 percent of parents said that they were very satisfied or satisfied with the education their child received that given school year.
- In 2017, 96 percent said that they were satisfied with the response they get when contacting their child’s school, which is up from 95 percent in 2015 and 2016.
- In 2017, 93 percent of parents said that their school helps keep their child on track for college, career, and success in life after high school, which is up from 92 percent in 2016.
When asked what they would like to see improved in New York City Public Schools, 24 percent of parents said stronger enrichment programs, 21 percent said smaller class size, and 15 percent said more hands-on learning.
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