Federal Data Show Decreasing Rates of Bullying and Violence in Schools

BULLYING, VIOLENCE, crime and drug use in schools continue to decrease, as they have for much of the last two decades, despite public perception that schools have become less safe over the past 20 years.

New federal data published Wednesday by the Departments of Education and Justice show that 20% of students ages 12 to 18 reported being bullied at school during the 2016-17 school year, the lowest since the federal government began collecting the information in 2005. The percentage of public schools that reported that student bullying occurred at least once a week also decreased, from 29% in the 1999-2000 school year to 12% in the 2015-16 school year.

Moreover, the percentage of students in grades nine through 12 who reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property during the previous 12 months decreased from 9% in the 2000-01 school year to 6% in 2016-17 school year.

Full story at US News

One in Three U.S. Teens Experience Dating Violence, Girls More Likely to Get Physical

One of Three Teens Experience Dating ViolenceResearch presented today at the American Psychological Association convention in Honolulu shows that about one in three U.S. teens ages 14 to 20 have been victims of dating violence, and about the same amount say they’ve committed relationship violence themselves.

A separate study also unveiled at the convention shows that middle school bullies who engage in non-physical taunts, such as name-calling and spreading rumors, are seven times more likely than other children to commit dating violence when they get to high school.

Michele Ybarra, president and research director of the Center for Innovative Public Health Research, led the study that showed the extent of the dating violence problem. Dorothy Espelage, child development chair at the College of Education at the University of Illinois, detailed the findings showing a link between early childhood bullying and teen dating violence.

Full story of teen dating violence at Health Line

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Mental Health: A Teen`s Guide To Survive Stress

Teen's Guide to Survive StressStress- Good or Bad

Your father is stressed with a big project at his workplace. But he is excited. Your mother is stressed taking care of your sick grandmother and working. Quite often she is tired and cranky.
Everyone is exposed to stress everyday. But feeling the stress is your body`s reaction to something you may or may not want to do. Feeling stressed is normal. Sometimes stress is good. It keeps you focused and extracts the best out of you like the excitement before a game or getting ready for a dance. But sometimes stress falls heavily on you. You can`t sleep or feel sad and lonely. Don`t ignore these feelings. Stress needs your attention. Deal with it. Get help.

Signs of stress

Normally you are pretty cool about things. But some days you don`t feel like your own self. Your mother asks what`s wrong and your best friend tells you to get over it. But you just want them to leave you alone. Are you stressed out? Only your body or your emotions will let you know.

Why are you stressed out?

Full story of teens surviving stress at TeleManagement

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9 Signs You’re At Risk For Domestic Violence

Risk Signs of Domestic ViolenceLast weekend, celebrity abusers Chris Brown and Oscar Pistorius popped up in headlines again, but this time it wasn’t for their respective assault convictions and murder trials. Instead, Brown was lauded for his performance at the Billboard Music Awards. Brown’s ex-girlfriend Rihanna, whom he attacked during an argument in 2009, skipped the show. Pistorius, meanwhile, announced through his manager that he will not compete in races for the rest of the year. His decision was covered by the BBC, which dedicated almost 80% of the article to Pistorius’s storied athletic career. His former girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, whom Pistorius shot dead in February, was also mentioned briefly. Media coverage like this might lead you to believe our society condones domestic violence. It doesn’t — it can’t. Despite the prevalence of intimate-partner violence around the world and the hesitance of some journalists to decry abusers, there are extraordinary survivors, advocates, and organizations out there who are ready to support any young person at risk of being hurt.

Domestic violence is an international epidemic that hits our generation especially hard. Rihanna was 20 when Brown assaulted her before the Grammy Awards, while Reeva Steenkamp was murdered by Pistorius when she was 29. Their stories line up with the experiences of millions of Americans who are abused and thousands who are killed by their partners each year. Almost halfare first assaulted between the ages of 18 and 24. These survivors are us, our friends, and our families. If you fear you’re at risk, check out these nine signs of domestic violence from Safe Horizon. You may be in an abusive relationship if your partner…

Full story of domestic violence signs at PolicyMic

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Guns and Mental Health

Guns and Mental Health in SchoolsAs we debate the steps to reducing gun violence in the society a couple points need to be understood: 1. The link between violent crime and mental illness is weak, and 2. Mental health professionals are poor at predicting anyone’s propensity for any specific behavior, including homicide.

Although it is mass shootings, particularly the massacre of school children in Newtown, that capture our attention and have accelerated the current discussion, Americans for the most part kill each other with guns in ones and twos. Of the total number of gun deaths in this country, around 30,000 a year, the majority are not the result of mental illness, but of ordinary human emotions like anger, hate, greed, and despair. In fact, about half of all shootings are suicides.

It is certainly true that our mental health system is in critical need of improvement, specifically in the area of funding. Twenty-eight states and D.C. reduced their mental health funding by a total of $1.6 billion between 2009 and 2012. With the "deinstitutionalization" movement of the ’60s and ’70s, many inpatient facilities were closed or reduced in size. It was assumed that a network of outpatient mental health clinics would take care of those previously hospitalized. This assumption has proven to be unattainable, largely because of inadequate public funding; instead many of the mentally ill are now on our streets or in our jails. (A 2010 report by the Treatment Advocacy Center found that there are more people with severe mental illness in prisons than in hospitals.) Inhumane and scandalous though that may be, few of them present a danger to public safety.

Full story of school guns and mental health at Huffington Post

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Report: More domestic violence education needed

Domestic Violence EducationFew actions were taken to prevent many of the 18 domestic violence deaths in Connecticut in 2010, despite warning signs that the victims faced potential harm, according to a report released Tuesday that called for more public education about the issue.

The report was compiled by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and its Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee, which includes victims’ relatives, victim advocates, police, prosecutors and social service providers.

The committee said the rate of domestic violence homicide in the state remains steady, despite increasing public awareness of the problem and more professional training to deal with it.

"In every case reviewed, family members, friends, and/or professionals were not fully aware of the escalating circumstances between the perpetrator and the victim," the report said. "These individuals did not recognize the significance of the situation or the warning signs.

Full story of family violence at WTNH News 8

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Real-Life Exposure to Violence Disrupts a Child’s Sleep Habits

Violence Disrupts Child's SleepA new study finds that the exposure to real-life violence can measurably impact a child’s sleep and the effects can last over time. The findings, presented at the SLEEP 2012 meeting in Boston last week, show how the severity of a violent event affects a child’s quality and quantity of sleep . The more severe the violence, the more sleep is impacted.

While trouble with nightmares and insomnia has long been associated with exposure to violence, the study, conducted by researchers from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic Multidisciplinary Research Training Program, found that characteristics of the violent act touch different aspects of the child’s sleep.

For example, children who are victimized during a violent event tend to sleep less and more poorly than children who witnessed a violent event but were not victimized. Children who witness a homicide have more inconsistent sleep as time passes since the violent event occurred.

Full story of violence and children’s sleep at Sleep Review Mag

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Cuero students take bullying into their own hands

Cuero Studetns Take Bullying Into Their Own HandsLike most great schemes in middle school, this one was conjured up at the lunch table.

A group of sixth-grade students at Cuero Junior High School, discussing their own experiences with bullying, wanted to help younger kids avoid some of the perils they had gone through.

They settled on adapting a comic written by classmate Allison Spitzenberger into a play for third-graders called "The Adventures of Bob."

"I wanted to write the play because there’s a lot of bullying happening around the world, and I wanted to put a stop to it," Allison, 11, said.

The play is just one of the ways Cuero students are making the school’s emphasis on bullying prevention their own personal missions.

Full story of students dealing with bullying at Victoria Advocate

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Violent teens may be emulating parents’ example

Violent Teens Emulating ParentsTeens who fight may be emulating adult relatives or have parents with aggressive attitudes, according to a new study led by an Indian origin researcher.

Rashmi Shetgiri, assistant professor of paediatrics at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, says: "Parents and other adults in the family have a substantial influence on adolescents’ engagement in fighting. Interventions to prevent fighting, therefore, should involve parents and teens."

Shetgiri and her colleagues conducted 12 focus groups with 65 middle and high school students to discuss why youths fight and how violence can be prevented, according to a Texas statement.

Full story of violent teens at New York Daily News

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One in six seventh graders are victims of dating violence: survey

Young Dating ViolenceSeventh-grade students have experienced alarming rates of physical violence at the hands of a romantic partner, including being shoved, grabbed, hit or kicked, a survey of middle schoolers showed on Thursday.

Nearly one in six of 1,430 students surveyed, most of whom were just 12 years old, said they had experienced physical dating violence in the past six months, while more than one in three had witnessed such violence among their peers.

Moreover, nearly a quarter said they had a friend who was violent to their partner, and a similar proportion strongly disagreed that hitting their girlfriend or boyfriend would lead to a break-up.

"Society doesn’t think about these behaviors happening among middle schoolers," Shari Miller, lead researcher at RTI International, which conducted the survey, told Reuters, describing the results as "definitely alarming".

Full story of young dating violence at WSBT.com