Verbal abuse a problem in New Zealand schools

Stuff 12 June 2015
Verbal abuse is the biggest bullying problem children face at school, a new survey of New Zealand’s school kids reveals.
More than 18,000 children from years 5 to 13 took part in the CensusAtSchool project that asked them 35 questions, including on how much of a problem different types of bullying were at their school.
The anonymous survey revealed that 36 per cent believed that verbal abuse was a problem, while  31 per cent highlighted cyberbullying.
This was the first time CensusAtSchool has asked about bullying,  team member and Otahuhu College teacher Anne Patel said.
“Information about the scale of bullying is hard to get in New Zealand because we don’t have a way of quantifying it on a national level. But as CensusAtSchool is anonymous and available to students in every school in the country, we are getting a unique student-eye view of its scale and prevalence.”
Questions needed to be asked about why more students viewed bullying as a problem in co-ed schools rather than single-sex schools, she said.
Children were also asked about physical and social bullying, but these were ranked as less of a problem.
Verbal bullying more of a problem in high schools, with 39% of students saying it was an issue compared to 29% in primary schools. It was also more of a problem for girls in co-ed schools: 43% compared to 33% at same-sex schools.
Girls were more likely to say cyberbullying was a problem at school, 34% compared to 26% of boys.
Cyberbullies were not typical to gender with 69% saying they were made up of equal numbers of boys and girls.
Social or relational bullying was a problem for 25% of students.
Physical bullying was only a problem at their school for 19% of students.

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