Is your state in the top 10 for bullying problems at school and online?

Bullies and their victims both are more likely to experience poverty, struggle academically and lose jobs in adulthood. Bullying can also cost schools funding, report warns.

One in five students between the ages of 12 and 18 suffer bullying, as face-to-face harassment moves behind the anonymity of online attacks, according to federal estimates. And a growing body of research is showing that bullying’s impacts spread far beyond the classroom, the personal finance website WalletHub warns in a new assessment.

Bullies and their victims both are more likely to experience poverty, struggle academically and lose jobs in adulthood. They are also more likely to commit crime and abuse drugs and alcohol. As for schools, they risk losing millions of dollars in attendance-based funding when students stay home to avoid being bullied, WalletHub reports.

The states that deal with bullying most effectively are those where research-based anti-bullying programs are easily accessible to schools, says Lori Latrice Martin, an associate dean at the College of Humanities & Social Sciences and a professor in the Department of African & African American Studies at Louisiana State University.

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And those schools have firm commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. They also staff an appropriate number of trained professionals to address student mental health and wellness, Martin adds.

“School systems should have programs in place that protect children from bullying by fully investigating reports by students, parents, or other concerned individuals,” the professor suggests. “There must be accountability at various levels. School administrators must be held accountable for protecting students and providing services or referrals for students as needed.”

To identify where bullying is most pervasive, WalletHub examined the share of high school students getting bullied online, truancy costs, whether states have anti-bullying laws and several other metrics in 47 states and Washington, D.C. For example, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Arizona, Alaska and Iowa had the highest rates of online bullying; Rhode Island, Texas, Hawaii, Delaware and Washington, D.C. showed the lowest.

Here is WalletHub’s ranking, from highest to lowest rates of bullying:

  1. California
  2. Alaska
  3. Nevada
  4. New Jersey
  5. Louisiana
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Georgia
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Wyoming
  11. Arizona
  12. Ohio
  13. Iowa
  14. New Hampshire
  15. Mississippi
  16. Tennessee
  17. Texas
  18. West Virginia
  19. Nebraska
  20. Arkansas
  21. Montana
  22. South Carolina
  23. Missouri
  24. Kansas
  25. Alabama
  26. Kentucky
  27. North Carolina
  28. Idaho
  29. Illinois
  30. Maryland
  31. North Dakota
  32. Florida
  33. Michigan
  34. Vermont
  35. Connecticut
  36. Hawaii
  37. Colorado
  38. South Dakota
  39. New York
  40. New Mexico
  41. Virginia
  42. Indiana
  43. Utah
  44. Maine
  45. Washington, D.C.
  46. Rhode Island
  47. Massachusetts
  48. Delaware
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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