School Bullying Affects Test Scores, Reveals Study

School kids

Bullying in school affects standardized test scores, reveals a new study. The research was conducted in Virginia and found that students in schools affected by bullying scored 3% to 6% lower in standardized tests. The researchers say bullying is a serious problem in many schools.

Bullying is a School Problem
The findings of this study highlight the fact that bullying is a schoolwide issue and not merely an individual problem. The researchers obtained data from 284 high schools in Virginia and surveyed more than 7,000 students, and around 3,000 teachers. They say the 3% to 6% reduction in exam scores due to bullying is significant.

Bullying Affects School Performance Too
Federal rules stipulate that students must pass these standardized exams in order to graduate from school. In Virginia, at least 70% of students in a school need to pass these exams for the school to maintain its accreditation. Bullying affects a school’s chances of meeting these requirements. The researchers say affected schools need to devise plans to prevent bullying, and improve the overall climate to facilitate academic success.

Help the Bullies Too
Bullying impacts students because they get scared, which affects their academic performance. Besides, it also creates disorder in school, which also affects test scores. The authors of the study opine that besides helping the victims, even the bullies should be counseled and disciplined. Bystanders who encourage bullying should be expelled.

Protect School Children from Harassment
Awareness about bullying in schools has increased due to high-profile cases of school suicides and shootings. The researchers point out that workplace harassment and abuse is not permitted in America. Similar protections need to be given to school children, they opine. These findings were presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association held in Washington D.C.

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