According to a new study published in the pediatric journal, victims of bullying are more likely to bring weapons to school.
The author of this study used data from the Centers for Disease Control from more than 15,000 students and discovered that 20% of the high school students surveyed were subject to bullying in the past year. Researchers also acknowledged that 4% of all students brought weapons to school last month. According to CDC data on bullying at schools across the country, there is a high possibility that in the past 30 days more than 200,000 bullying victims were carrying guns and knives to school.
The presenter of the research stated as follows. There are three things that motivate students to violence, which are linked directly to the fact that victims of bully bring weapons to school.
Involvement in the physical battle at school, not going to school for reasons that they feel unsafe, previous physical intimidation and injuries by classmates. When these three risk factors were seen in the victims, the carrying rate of weapons soared from 5% to 46%.
“We wanted to look at those who are bringing weapons into what is supposed to be a safe space,” said study co-author Dr. Andrew Adesman, a professor of pediatrics at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine.
According to Adesman, past studies have shown that bullied children are more likely to bring weapons to school, but this research has advanced further, identifying what he called “a striking cascade of risk that is proportional to those three simple questions.”
Through this analysis, researchers have identified the group with the highest risk of pursuing physical violence. Nearly half of this group is bringing weapons to schools - 35 times that of general high school students.
Among this high-risk group, there is the gender difference. Girls are more likely to report that they are victims of bullying. However, the probability that a bullied boy brings weapons to school is three times.
“Schools are still much safer than the streets, and putting metal detectors in every hallway won’t solve the problem,” said Dr. Gene Beresin, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and founder of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital. “If we really want to help our youth be safer, we need to think of a comprehensive plan of combating bullying through electronic media, informing law enforcement and teachers about establishing universal consequences for bullying, and talking about the dangers of weapons on the streets.”
Beresin added that parents can play the role of parents by speaking bullying with their children at their own home. However, he said, this is an agenda that must also be communicated to the community.
“Once we can open up about who is bullying, who is the victim, and how the bullying is being done, in a sense, it can start to change the culture. But it takes a village,” he said.