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More Than Sticks and Stones: Ohio School Bullying Policies and Statistics

Background

Nationally, 28 percent of students age 12 through 18 reported being bullied at school in the 2008-09 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics under the definition of bullying described in this presentation. About 6 percent reported being the victim of online bullying.

The national statistics showed that students who reported being bullied at school were more often the victims of name calling or rumors rather than of threats of harm or actual physical attacks. And reports of bullying tended to decrease as students got older.

Ohio state law defines bullying as “any intentional written, verbal, or physical act that a student has exhibited toward another particular student more than once and the behavior both causes mental or physical harm to the other student and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student.” Violence within a dating relationship is also considered bullying.

Students who are bullied are more likely to be absent, perform poorly, have trouble making friends, have declining mental and emotional health and act violently, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

Under state law, Ohio school districts must adopt policies prohibiting bullying, as well as harassment and intimidation. State law also requires districts to have formal procedures for investigating and reporting complaints about these behaviors.

Each school district is supposed to post an annual report on all reported instances of bullying and related behaviors on its website.

 

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