Monday, March 31st, 2014

In the News: Bullying and Cyberbullying Double Suicidal Risks

Posted by Rachael Ballard Filed under: Bullying, Programs

A new research analysis published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics found that bullied students are at least two times more likely to contemplate or attempt suicide than their non-bullied peers. The analysis found that cyberbullying is linked more closely to suicide than is in-person bullying. Researchers believe this may be because victims feel put down in front of a bigger audience and may receive more attacks because the internet makes it so easy for the bullies.

With up to one in five students affected by bullying, it is critical for districts to provide students with support, mechanisms for coping with bullying, and confidential reporting tools. In addition, schools need to communicate their policies and ensure that each report of bullying behavior is taken seriously and addressed. Having effective and integrated reporting and discipline management tools help schools stay on top of issues before they escalate into a potential tragedy. Finally, effectively communicating and responding consistently to bullying issues will help promote and encourage a zero tolerance for bullying environment.

Dublin (OH) City Schools, near Columbus, takes student wellness and discipline seriously. The district chose the WORKS StudentWatch Suite — including the Student Behavior Management System (SBMS) and Student Bullying Reporting System (SBRS) — to create a culture of zero tolerance for bullying.

The Student Bullying Reporting System allows students, parents and others in the community to report student safety concern anonymously. School administrators immediately are mobilized to take action. The Student Bullying Reporting System integrates with the Student Behavior Management System, so that if an issue requires administrative intervention, the seamless integration allows the administrator to begin the student(s) discipline process without delay.

The robust reporting and tracking capabilities plus the immediate access to student behavior records in one online system, allows administrators to create trend reports when developing behavior intervention plans.

To learn additional ways that Dublin City Schools is using these StudentWatch Systems to manage student safety and discipline, and sustain a healthier school environment, check out the April issue of District Administration

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