PASCO, Wash.-- 30% of sixth graders in Washington state report having been bullied in school. That's according to the Healthy Youth Survey, a survey of students taken every two years.
Dozens of teachers, principals, students, and community leaders met at ESD 123 in Pasco Tuesday to talk about how to prevent bullying and harassment in school. Almost everyone at the forum agreed it's a difficult issue to address. Some say there is no solution- there will always be mean kids. Others say the key to reducing the number of bullies is helping students understand each others' differences.
Washington state lawmakers have also recently passed legislation to try to help. Jeff Soder, Supervisor for Safe & Drug Free Schools under the OSPI, says, "The new law is going to say that districts have to have a model policy and a model procedure to address bullying so it's going to be much, much stronger than it's been in the past."
Soder says electronic bullying, which takes place online and on social networking sites, is a new form of bullying that's on the rise and often harder to address. He says his office is working on policy to address that as well.