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Florida School Injuries and Bullying: A Bigger Problem Than Expected

Despite all that we’re hearing about the fight against bullying, there are still far too many children who are seriously injured while on school grounds, according to a recent study published in Pediatrics. According to NBC News, there are more than 90,000 school children who are the victim of “intentional” injuries that are serious enough to land them in the E.R.
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While there has been a decrease in this number in the last decade, it’s been very small. It’s important to point out that the study only observed incidents in which a school child wound up in the E.R. The true number of injuries is likely much higher.

Our child injury lawyers in Vero Beach understand that bullying is largely unreported. Oftentimes, children are hesitant to come forward to an adult about bullying and little is ever done about it. Officials are hoping that this recent study shines more light and attention on the problem.

Researchers combed through information from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System — All Injury Program. Data collected from 2001 to 2009, looking at a number of E.R. reports and specific detail regarding the injuries, where they happened and if they were intentional.

Of all the reports, bruises and cuts were the most commonly-reported injuries, accounting for about 40 percent. Fractures accounted for about 12 percent and brain injuries for another 10 percent. Strains ranked in with 7 percent of the reported injuries. Most of the injuries (more than 95 percent), happened because of an assault, and perpetrators were pointed out as acquaintances or friends of the victim. In about 10 percent of the cases, multiple perpetrators were identified.

Officials believe that some of the problem is the adults that these kids model themselves after. A piece published in the same issue of Pediatrics showed that bullying among coaches was relatively high and that schools oftentimes looked the other way if the coach was successful and had a winning team.

In another survey, close to 50 percent of children reported that they experienced verbal abuse by coaches, which oftentimes included insults during play.

Bullying is often mistakenly viewed as a narrow range of antisocial behavior confined to elementary school recess yards.

Types of Bullying:

-Physical

-Verbal

-Psychological or Social

-Electronic

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly a third of all students aged 12 – 18 reported having been bullied at school in 2007, some almost daily. This article gives a general background on school bullying. Approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying.

Reducing bullying in schools is a major challenge of our time. It is certainly not easy to achieve, as numerous studies have shown. However, over the last decade evidence has been accumulating that anti-bullying strategies can be successful in significantly reducing, if not eliminating, bullying in schools.

Bullying bothers everyone — and not just the kids who are getting picked on. Bullying can make school a place of fear and can lead to more violence and more stress for everyone.

Contact Freeman Injury Law for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Who is to Blame (and Liable) for Mass Shootings?, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 14, 2013

Lockdown at Broward County public schools spotlights dangers for South Florida educators, students and staff, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 15, 2010

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