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In Austin, 1 in 3 middle school students and 1 in 4 high school students reported experiencing bullying at school.
Whether it takes the form of verbal threats, physical intimidation, emotional pressure, or cyberbullying, the mental health problems stemming from being victimized can last a lifetime. Bullied youth experience increased the risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school and youth who bully others are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems, and experiencing violence later in adolescence and adulthood.
But there’s hope. By engaging young people in meaningful ways, we can develop a positive school climate, which is consistently associated with lower rates of bullying and cyberbullying behaviors.
At Creative Action, our programs not only teach arts skills, we introduce important social issues to young people and create pathways for them to learn how to work together.
And we are making a difference.
After participating in programs at Creative Action, students report increased social awareness, higher likeliness to help others being bullied, fewer disciplinary issues, and improved self expression—all characteristics of positive youth development, which leads to less bullying.
As parents, educators, and students, we can develop schools and communities in which everyone feels safe, every kid feels included, and no child to ever feel singled out by teasing or bullying.