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February 3, 2020

When Low Rates of Bullying Increase Risks for Those Who Are Bullied: The Safe School Paradox

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(4):317-318. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.5888

With increased awareness of the association of being bullied and adverse well-being, health care clinicians are well positioned to identify warning signs among young patients. Elevated levels of anxiety or depression, frequent headaches or stomachaches, as well as repeated tardiness and school absences are some of the most typical signs of being bullied.1

One in every 5 youth face repeated bullying at school in the United States.2 Because of the prevalence and potentially devastating consequences of mistreatment by peers, bullying is considered a public health problem. The good news is that school-based antibullying programs can successfully decrease the number of youth engaging in and experiencing bullying .3

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    1 Comment for this article
    School Bullying
    Mike Dreiblatt, M.Ed. | standuptobullying.net
    Schools are responsible for maintaining a safe learning environment for all students. This responsibility includes taking steps to prevent bullying and to stop it when it occurs. State and local lawmakers have acted to prevent bullying and protect children. Through laws (in their state education codes and elsewhere) and model policies (that provide guidance to districts and schools), each state addresses bullying differently. There is no federal law against school bullying, but some types of bullying take the form of discriminatory harassment, and there are federal laws that prohibit that kind of conduct. For example, schools have responsibilities under federal civil rights laws to protect children who are bullied because of their race, color, ancestry, ethnic background, sex or disability.

    See https://standuptobullying.net/school-bullying for more details.
    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Speaker on bullying and violence prevention.