Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Thursday proposed a federal initiative to combat bullying if she were elected president.
“The proposed federal funding for anti-bullying efforts is sorely needed,” says William Copeland, an associate professor in Duke University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
“Bullying is the most common form of childhood victimization. About one in four children report being bullied at school. Bullying affects almost all children, including those that are bullied, those that bully and those that watch it happen. It affects children from all types of backgrounds, regardless of income, race and ethnicity or social status. It occurs in red states and blue states. It is truly a problem for all Americans.”
“Bullying is a public health tragedy that is too often ignored or merely given lip service. Bullying can increase physical and mental health problems and decrease academic achievement. For some children, the effects persist into adulthood. It is not a rite of passage.”
“The good news is that effective anti-bullying programs exist. Studies have identified components of programs that are the most effective for preventing bullying. Funds from an initiative like this can provide schools with the resources they need to implement programs that we know work to help victims of bullying and ensure fewer children are bullied in the future.”
William Copeland is an associate professor in Duke University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a faculty fellow of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. He researches how childhood stress affects long-term mental and physical health, in particular the effects of childhood bullying.
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