Many Bullying Victims Bring Weapons To School

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About 200,000 bullied high school students bring weapons to school, according to new data.

High schoolers who are bullied, be it with physical assault, taunting or damage to their personal belongings, are up to 31 times more likely to bring weapons — like a gun or knife — to school than kids who are not bullied.

Researchers looked at data culled by the CDC, which surveyed thousands of New York City high school students. The students were asked if they had ever been bullied at school and how many days within the last month they had brought a weapon at school.

The researchers looked at a series of risk factors that could increase the likelihood that students would bring weapons to school, which consisted of skipping school due to feeling unsafe, having belongings and property stolen or damaged, being threatened or injured with weapons, and being in a physical fight. In total, 20% of high schoolers reported being bullying victims.

High schoolers who were bullied tended to be female, white, and performed worse in school — 8.6% were likely to bring weapons to school compared to 4.6% who were not. But the most dramatic increases were seen among students who experienced more than one kind of intimidation. Up to 28% of students experiencing one risk factor brought a weapon to school, and 62% of kids experiencing three risk factors brought a weapon to campus.

The researchers hope that their findings will help educators better identify students who are at a higher risk for violence, and prevent further campus violence and cheating.

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