Online High Schools Helping Students Avoid School Bullying

Mar 24, 2011, 10:55 ET from Ashworth College

Increasing numbers choosing online learning for safety

NORCROSS, Ga., March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- School bullying is nothing new. Everyone has heard about it. Many have been on the receiving end. As parents, we want to protect our children and ensure that they don't fall prey to the same treatment. A recent bullying incident involving a young Australian captured on video and posted on YouTube has gone viral, raising public awareness of this universal issue and increasing the urgency of finding solutions to prevent bullying.

According to the National Association of School Psychologists, bullying is the most common form of violence in our society with nearly 30 percent of U.S. students estimated to be involved, whether as the aggressor or the victim. While the act of bullying takes on many forms – verbal, emotional, cyber bullying – on average more than a quarter of a million students are reported to be physically attacked during the school day.

Theresa, a current James Madison High School ( online student, admitted to being bullied while attending public school. "I grew up and was bullied on a regular basis," she admitted during a recent online discussion, however requested that her last name remain anonymous. "People really don't understand the effect, both physically and emotionally, that bullying has." James Madison High School and its parent Ashworth College are leading online education institutions providing accredited online diploma and degree programs that enable students to study from home.

Aside from the physical and emotional, other effects stemming from bullying can have a negative impact on a student's academic career and life. Reports by traditional brick and mortar schools indicate bullying to be the cause for an average of 160,000 kids staying home from school every day. The tension and anxiety created by bullying affects concentration in the classroom, health, social isolation and depression and directly ties to one out of every 10 drop outs.

Worse, there has been shown to be a strong link between bullying and suicide. According to a Yale University, study bully victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide.

Online high school offers a safe path to a quality education

While families who experience issues with bullying may have education alternatives, sending their child to a school out of district, paying tuition for a private school, or waiting for an opening at a charter school may not be practical. There are, however, countless stories of mothers who have successfully turned to high school online as a way to give their children a quality, accredited education in a safe environment – typically at home.

"Since the 1890s, when the first at-home high school study programs were first offered, several million students have successfully completed their compulsory schooling at DETC accredited institutions," said Michael Lambert, Executive Director of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). "Ensuring the safety and well-being of their child is among the reasons why many parents choose to have their child educated at home at a DETC accredited school. Additionally, parents recognize the many other benefits of distance education, including convenience, affordability, quality instructors and learning effectiveness."

Growing up, many knew of a family or two that homeschooled their children. If you're not up to speed on today's distance education, it's probably not what most of us remember. With schools like James Madison High School, students have the opportunity to pursue general studies, college preparatory or vocational tracks depending on their interests by following a personalized, web-based or textbook-based curriculum built on state and national standards and regional and national accreditation.

"Online high school is an effective and affordable way for students to get a quality education and earn a diploma within the comfort and safety of their home," said Dr. Leslie Gargiulo, Vice President of Education for James Madison High School and Ashworth College.  "We and other online schools understand the frustration felt by the victims of bullying and their families. I'm glad that we can offer them a solution that will help them meet their education goals."

Technology and social media further enhance the student experience in James Madison's online community by linking students with each other, instructors, and tutors for a positive and nurturing learning experience. All without the threat of bullies.

About Ashworth College

As a leader in online education, Ashworth College has built a tradition of excellence spanning 25 years, offering students worldwide more than 115 online college programs, online certificate programs, career training and high school online diplomas that are affordable and fit the busy schedules of working adults. Ashworth also offers military education online as well as specialized programs for corporate partners and homeschoolers.

Headquartered in Norcross, GA, Ashworth is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The Accrediting Commission of the DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. James Madison High School is further accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). SACS CASI is an accreditation division of AdvancED. For more information, visit

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Dr. Leslie Gargiulo, Ph.D.

SOURCE Ashworth College