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January 2011



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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on September 2, 2009

Cutting down or putting down a nerdy or dorky high school peer is an activity that has gone on for generations. New research, however, suggests the distractions and hostile setting can interfere with learning.

The University of Illinois study suggests classroom disruptions and a psychologically hostile school environment can contribute to a climate in which good students have difficulty learning and students who are behind have trouble catching up.

“We need to get away from the idea that bullying is always physical. Bullying can also include verbal harassment, which can be just as damaging and detrimental to student learning,” said Christy Lleras, a U of I assistant professor of human and community development.

The study used data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study and included 10,060 African American, Latino, and white 10th graders in 659 U.S. high schools. It is one of the first to look at the national incidence of verbal harassment in public and private high schools, she said.

“In looking at whether students felt safe at school, students’ fear for their physical safety was actually pretty low. But 70 percent of the students said they were bothered by disruptions in their classroom, and one in five students said that they were often put down by their peers in school,” she said.

Lleras came to three interesting conclusions as she reviewed the data. One was that smaller, private, and more affluent schools do very little to protect students from verbal abuse.

Read Article in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/09/02/high-school-ridicule-can-hurt/8123.html


Bullied pupil, 16, hanged himself day before collecting GCSE results

By Chris Brooke
Last updated at 4:33 PM on 07th September 2009

A troubled teenager who had been tormented by bullies for more than 10 years committed suicide on the day before receiving his GCSE results.

Michael Miller, 16, was picked on by playground bullies for being a loner when he was young and more recently was teased for being 6ft 2in tall, his distraught mother said.

It affected him so badly that he only attended school part-time and went to a special unit for victims of bullies.

Despite his past problems his family didn’t realise the torment he was still going through during the summer holidays and he seemed outwardly happy on the day he died.

But his mother Helen Miller, 42, found her ‘gentle giant’ son hanging at the family home in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, on 26 August.

He had not left a note or diary revealing his motives, but friends told Mrs Miller that bullying was probably to blame.

Mrs Miller, a full-time mother, said: ‘It was only through his school friends telling us that they thought he was still getting some grief at school that we found out.

Read Article in Full:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211747/Bullied-pupil-16-hanged-day-collecting-GCSE-results.html?ITO=1490

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