Bullying Major Problem Facing Fairfax Students
By Bobbi Bowman, The McLean Ear
MCLEAN, VA – Bullying is the leading problem facing Fairfax County students, according to the results of the 2010 Fairfax county youth survey released yesterday.
—More than half of all students reported being bullied or teased.
—Cyberbullying is most commonly reported by 8th graders and decreases at the higher greade levels.
The 2010 Fairfax County Youth Survey is a comprehensive, anonymous, and voluntary survey that examines the risk and protective factors and various health behaviors that influence the health and well-being of county youth. Nearly 30,000 students in 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades participated in the survey.
Ramona Morrow, president of the Fairfax County Council of PTAs, told The McLean Ear Thursday that the board of 30 members would review the survey’s findings and decide on the next step. The next board meeting is Monday, Nov. 1, but it’s more likely the survey would be discussed at the December meeting, she said.
Here are the highlights:
—Bullying. “Many of the county’s youth report being bullied and some report this as a chronic problem,” the report said. Youth who are bullied are more likely to report carrying a weapon, using drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, being depressed or considering suicide.
—Mental Health. Over 25 percent reported “feeling so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that they stopped during some usual activities. Overall reports of depression and considering suicide are lower than in 2008.
—Sex. A lower percentage of Fairfax County report ever engaging in sexual intercourse compared to youth nationally. Of 12th graders, 41.5 percent report having ever engaged in sexual intercourse, well below the national average.
—Drugs. Substance usage rates in Fairfax County continue to decline and tend to be lower than national usage rates. The use of drugs other than alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana is generally low. The percentage of respondents who have driven car when they had been drinking has decreased for the past three years.
—Physical Activity. Being phyisically active for at least 60 minutes per day on five or more days during the past week decreases with grade level.