COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Results just released from a national survey of K–12 principals offers new insight about how educators view the issue of bullying and how to address it in schools. Columbus-based research company, Saperstein Associates, Inc., administered the 2012 National Bullying Survey that prompted responses from nearly 2,000 elementary, middle school, and high school principals from across the country. Responses showed that more than half of middle school principals feel that bullying is a major problem. "Bullying is the latest issue that has hit public schools...how we address the issue must be at the top of our list," reported a Texas middle school principal. "We can no longer sit back and hope it will go away—it won't."
Bullying was defined throughout the questionnaire by a variety of behaviors that include:
- Saying hurtful things to someone about their appearance or ability
- Posting disrespectful comments about someone online
- Hurting someone by physical actions
- Treating someone badly
- Excluding someone intentionally, because of who they are
- Bullying ranks in the top five problems for more than half of the middle schools principals compared to 32 percent of elementary principals and 36 percent at the high school level.
- Seventy-three percent of respondents feel that lessons integrated into the academic curriculum would be more effective than a separate class devoted to bullying.
- Cyber bullying ranked highest among high school principals at 63 percent, whereas verbal and social bullying ranked the highest in middle school.
- Thirteen percent of high school principals reported that a student has either attempted or committed suicide as a result of being bullied.
- Only one in six principals report that the number of incidents involving bullying has decreased significantly as a result of their bullying prevention initiatives.
"Many of the responses suggested that when lessons are integrated, the information is spread throughout the lesson and then permeates into other curricular areas and discussions," says Martin Saperstein, Ph.D., President of Saperstein Associates, Inc. "It's also a more economical way to teach the anti-bullying subject. Research shows that learning is easier when it is attached to other learning."
An Educational Summit—Beyond Bullying: Safe Schools, Successful Students—will address these issues highlighted in the survey. Scheduled for January 14, 2013 at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, the event (hosted by Zaner-Bloser, in partnership with the Institute for Urban and Minority Education) will offer presentations that include:
- A keynote address from Kirk Smalley, Spokesperson for Stand for the Silent who was featured in the film Bully
- Research regarding the impact of social-emotional learning (SEL) on academic achievement
- How SEL supports the Common Core State Standards
- Superintendent panel discussion on best practices for eliminating bullying
According to Ed Dunkelblau, Ph.D., Director of the Institute for Emotionally Intelligent Learning (and one of the presenters at the upcoming Summit), incorporating SEL into a curriculum has proven to be effective when both students and teachers are learning-ready. "Social-emotional learning is a set of skills that allow us to become better at understanding and managing our emotions and learning how they impact the choices we make, the relationships we have, and our outlook in life. Not only is it effective, but students' grades and test scores also improve."