Approximately 2,300 middle school students from around Los Angeles took part of a UCLA study on bullying. The UCLA found that students that were bullied on a continuing basis performed significantly worse in school than their non-bullied peers. Students conducted surveys in which they rated how much they were bullied on a four point scale and listed other students that were bullied. In addition to listing who they knew to be bullied, they also noted the type of bullying such as physical, rumors, and verbal bullying. On average, a one point increase in bullying saw a reduction in a student’s GPA by 1.5 points in math alone. This study was done over a three year period where these kids were questioned twice a year and comparing answers to grades and overall academic performance. One theory of why this trend is seen is that the bullying “can paralyze students from concentrating on academics.” The trends were apparent regardless of where the bullying took place, in or out of school.
Further studies with Ohio State University and Virginia Tech have shown very similar results within high school. Minorities are especially vulnerable to bullying and have sharper GPA drops when bullied by peers. The Huffington Post reported that Black and Latino students who usually received good grades saw the largest decrease in grades when bullied in the 10th grade. For example, it was observed that Latino students that received a 3.5 GPA in their freshman year would have a 0.5 point drop by the time they were seniors and Black students would get a 0.3 drop under the same conditions. Minorities that already had low grades were only impacted with a 0.1 point drop in grades. It was also observed that the GPA of Asian students would decrease by 0.3 points when exposed to bullying regardless of where they stood academically on their freshman year.
Another study reported by the BBC showed that 56% of children from 13 to 18 years old felt that their bullying was negatively affecting their school performance and overall education. Those students were significantly more likely to receive a D or fail in classes compared to non-bullied peers.
In today’s society, education is absolutely crucial to succeed in life. Studies all over the world are starting to show that when a child is bullied, that child actually experiences long term academic scars. It is also clear that if a child is going to ever reach their maximum potential then their exposure to bullying needs to be eliminated. This isn’t always possible but the Foundations of East Chicago is helping minimize that by providing youth with opportunities to flourish outside of the classroom. One such program that the FEC has funded is the Calumet Council Boy Scouts of America and their outreach to help youth develop educational and life building skills. Another program funded by FEC is the St. Stanislaus School and their campaign to educate children to address and stop bullying. There are many other programs that the FEC are funding that also will help minimize the effects and exposure to bullying by providing constructive activities and learning environments that children can feel safe in.
For more information on programs the Foundations of East Chicago funds, click HERE.
For more information on bullying and its effects on our youth please visit any one of the three links below.