In the recently released 2017 DOE Student Surveys, a vast majority of NYC public school students – more than 80% – report that bullying occurs at their school. Although the questions varied slightly, which makes for an imperfect comparison, this is a 10% increase from the prior school year.
More than 430,00 students completed last year’s survey, which asked questions about bullying over race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, and immigration status, as well as differences like disability and weight.
These results are not surprising: during SLP’s Issue Selection, our students almost always list bullying as one of the social problems they are most concerned about in their school.
When SLP students choose to tackle bullying, their preferred solution always involves engaging students in the solution, since most bullying takes place when adults are not around (in the bathrooms and hallways), or when a few adults are supervising a large group (at lunch and recess.) Students at one of our elementary school partners encouraged their principal to “deputize” students to help intervene in the moment, either by challenging the “bully” or supporting the victim.
Either by engaging students or another proven strategy, we hope the DOE will make it a priority to eradicate bullying as much as possible in our city schools. Needless to say, every student deserves a safe place to learn and thrive.