The “Real” Cost of Bullying

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Bullying can stress a Latino child’s emotions and mental health, and can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

That’s bad enough.

mom teacher counselor girl depressed sad bully bullyingBut bullying also can keep a child from attending school and impact the finances of school districts across the country, according to a new study by UT Austin, Medline reports.

About 10% of kids in California (38.39% Latino population) missed at least one day of school in a month because they felt “unsafe” due to bullying, according to the study.

That’s about 301,000 kids missing school.

And California schools—which get funding based on student attendance instead of total enrollment like in many other states—lose in excess of $275 million in funding each year when these bullied kids stay home.

“Bullying is a big social problem that not only creates an unhealthy climate for individuals, but also undermines schools and communities,” said study author Stephen Russell, chair of human development and family sciences in a news release. “We are interested in the economics of bullying and how it can affect a whole school system.”

These issues can have a more intense affect on Latinos.

Latino kids can suffer from an emerging bully, school lunch shaming. The Latino population also suffers from the highest levels of stress, according to a recent stress survey by the American Psychological Association.

“Latinos reported the highest stress across four major sources of stress including money, employment, family responsibilities and health concerns,” the survey reported.

In the California study, Russell suggested clear steps districts can take to foster a safe environment for students.

“There are clear steps that schools can take to create a safe environment,” Russell said. “Professional anti-bullying training and decreasing racism are not only cheaper than leaving the system as it is, but would also promote an inclusive climate for everyone.”

You can read more about this story here.

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Bullying

By The Numbers By The Numbers

22

PERCENT

of Latino youth have depressive symptoms (a rate higher than most other groups).