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Bullying

February 4, 2005 • Volume 15, Issue 5
Are schools doing enough to stop the problem?
By John Greenya

Introduction

Barry Loukaitis, a quiet, 14-year-old honor student, shot and killed two classmates and a teacher at his school in Moses Lake, Wash., in 1996. He said other students had bullied him and called him “faggot.” He was convicted as an adult and sentenced to life in prison without parole.  (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Barry Loukaitis, a quiet, 14-year-old honor student, shot and killed two classmates and a teacher at his school in Moses Lake, Wash., in 1996. He said other students had bullied him and called him “faggot.” He was convicted as an adult and sentenced to life in prison without parole. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The nation received a shocking wake-up call about bullying when investigators revealed that the Columbine killers and other school shooters had been repeatedly bullied by classmates. On a typical school day today three out of 10 American youngsters are involved in bullying as perpetrators, victims or bystanders, and an estimated 160,000 children skip school for fear of being harassed. Bullied students are more prone to suicide, depression and poor school performance; bullies have a far higher likelihood of committing crimes as adults. At least 16 states have passed laws requiring schools to provide anti-bullying programs, but many states and school districts have been slow to act. Their reluctance may stem in part from opposition by conservative Christians, who argue that anti-bullying legislation and programs aimed at reducing sexually oriented teasing promote homosexuality and impinge on Christian students' freedom of speech.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Violence in Schools
Feb. 15, 2008  Discipline in Schools
Feb. 04, 2005  Bullying
Jan. 09, 2004  Hazing
Mar. 10, 2000  Zero Tolerance for School Violence
Oct. 09, 1998  School Violence
Sep. 11, 1992  Violence in Schools
Aug. 13, 1976  Violence in the Schools
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Bullying
Students and Social Life
Teenagers
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