ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – According to a new study, about 200,000 bullied high-school students in the United States bring weapons to school.
The researchers found that 9 percent of high school students who had been bullied in the past year carried a weapon to school.
Researchers looked at kids who were bulled the worse and found that 72 percent of them carried a weapon to school in the past month. That group included kids who had been threatened or injured with a weapon, been in a physical fight, had property damaged or stolen, and had missed school because they felt unsafe.
When researchers looked at student’s who specifically brought a gun to school, they found that 6 percent of bullied kids brought a gun to school over the past year. They also found that 63 percent had brought a gun to school over the last month.
“These figures are staggering,” Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of development and behavior pediatrics at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, and the study’s author, told Live Science. “What we are finding is exceptionally high rates of high-school students carrying weapons to school if they have previously been a victim of bullying, and they have otherwise had threats to their safety and property.”
According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011, 20 percent of high school students had said they had been bullied within the past year.
In that survey, students were asked whether they had been bullied in school in the past year, and how often they carried a weapon.
Dr. Adesman and his team analyzed data from that 2011 survey. They looked for factors that could potentially affect a child’s likelihood of bringing weapons to school.
Researchers concluded that the more factors the bullied kids had experienced, the more likely they were to carry a weapon to school.
“I think we need to not just focus on the bullies themselves, but we need to be mindful of the fact that their victims also post a potential serious threat to the safety and sanctity of the school’s environment,” Adesman added. “And, clearly, more needs to be done to make sure that high school and all schools are a safe environment for school children to learn.”