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Where Kids Learn It

“Teens Say Bullying Is Widespread,” is the unsurprising headline in USA Today.  In a survey released this week, roughly 50% of teens say they’ve bullied someone in the past year, and 50% say they’ve been bullied themselves.  I’d like to see these numbers represented in a venn diagram so we could determine the overlap.

The survey, by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, discovered additional unsettling statistics:

•52% of students say they have hit someone in anger

•28% say it’s OK to hit or threaten a person who angers them (37% of boys, 19% of girls).

“There’s a tremendous amount of anger,” Michael Josephson, the president of the Institute observes.

Huh.  Wonder where that comes from. 

On the same page on which this story appears, another headline says, “R.I Candidate Says Obama Can ‘Shove It.’” The lead story is all about midterm elections and how “angry” voters are. 

Professor Sally Kuykendall at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, says that somehow kids are “getting the Father-and-son message” that violence is an acceptable way to deal with conflict.

The study also found that one-third of high school students say violence is a big problem at school and almost 25% said they don’t feel safe at school.  Ten percent admitted to taking a weapon to school, and 16% say they have gone to school intoxicated.

“The combination of bullying, a penchant toward violence when one is angry, the availability of weapons, and the possibility of intoxication at school increases significantly the likelihood of retaliatory violence, “ Josepheson says.

One of the first lessons we learn as new parents is that whatever we do, our children observe us and learn from us.  And as children grow older, they learn from adults in private and public life.  Telling the President to shove it?  Nice.










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