Bullying More of a Problem for Girls in District 308: Survey
May 14, 2014 12:45PM ● Published by Steven Jack
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The results of a student survey conducted recently in District 308 show that junior high and high school girls are experiencing more problems with bullying in school.
The results of the student survey conducted by the National Center for School Leadership and given to 8,000 District 308 junior high and high school students were made available this week, and show that girls negatively answered questions about bullying and school safety at a rate of 11 percent below the NCSL national average.
On a whole, the district fell 7 percent below the NCSL national average on survey responses on bullying and school safety with 66 percent of kids saying they feel safe at school and 41 percent saying bullying is not a problem at their school.
In particular, at Traughber Junior High just 62 percent of students said they feel safe at school and 57 percent said that bullying is not a problem at the school.
“The primary areas for concern at Traughber Jr. High revolve around student engagement in classes and in school overall,” the survey said. “However, overwhelming, bullying is an area that should be addressed immediately based on the survey scores.”
The survey also revealed that bullying should also be addressed immediately at Thompson Junior High. Some 42 percent of students said they felt bullying wasn't a problem at Thompson.
Plank Junior High is another school where action is needed, according to the survey with 66 percent of students saying they feel safe and 35 percent saying bullying isn’t a problem.
At Bednarcik Junior High, 81 percent of students said they felt safe and 24 percent felt that bullying is not a problem at the school. At Murphy, 76 percent said they feel safe with 36 percent saying bullying is not a problem.
At Oswego High School, 59 percent said they feel safe, and 49 percent said bullying is not at a problem. At Oswego East those numbers were 70 and 31 percent respectively.
At Monday night’s School Board meeting Superintendent Matthew Wendt said bullying is a priority that the district needs to “step up and address.” However, he noted that the majority of students (66 percent) feel safe in school.
“When I see the question ‘Do I feel safe in school?” at 66 percent, I don’t necessarily look at that favorably,” Board Member Greg O’Neil said. “That means there is 34 percent that don’t feel safe or less than safe. It’s hard to learn when you feel that sort of pressure.”
Wendt said perhaps it’s time to consider adopting a zero-tolerance policy toward bullying. He also announced the formation of a 20-plus member bullying task force that will meet this month and all summer.
“We won’t be where we need to be come August, but I think there are a few things we can address for the 2014-15 school year,” he said.
As for current anti-bullying efforts in the district, Wendt said perhaps it’s time to take a new approach.
“If we have these types of results, then I’m afraid the program is not working. Maybe we’re not implementing it properly, but something’s not working when thousands of students respond this way,” he said.
The student survey addresses many more topics from student engagement to teaching styles. Find the complete results in the attached .pdf file at the top of this report.