Survey: Bullying affects half of students

Updated 2017-04-19 09:00:53 China Daily
Infographic: The long shadow of school bullying

Infographic: The long shadow of school bullying

Experience brings erosion of trust, reduced sense of control over life

Younger students experience school bullying more frequently than older ones, and male students are bullied more than their female peers, a survey found.

The 21st Century Education Research Institute, a think tank in Beijing, surveyed 1,003 students from 12 schools in the city - four primary schools, four middle schools and four high schools.

It found that nearly half of students had been intentionally bumped or knocked down by classmates. About 6 percent said they are targeted by bullies on campus every day.

The survey also found that students from ordinary schools experienced more bullying than peers from key institutions, and children from poor families are more likely to be bullied at school.

Being bullied can have an adverse impact on a child's personal development and academic performance, according to Zhou Jinyan, a researcher who led the study at Beijing Normal University's Capital Institute for Economics of Education.

"Children being bullied will find it hard to trust others," Zhou said. "They may lack self-confidence and often feel anxiety, anger, resentment or depression. These emotions will further undermine their ability to control their own life."

In recent years, bullying on Chinese campuses has been frequently reported and has attracted widespread attention and concern.

The most recent incident to trigger heated discussion took place in December at Beijing's prominent Zhongguancun No 2 Primary School. A fourth-grade student had a wastepaper basket from a bathroom thrown at him and was mocked by classmates, causing him acute stress disorder.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate, the top prosecuting authority, said in December that in the first 11 months of 2016 it received about 1,900 cases related to school bullying, leading to 1,100 arrests and 2,300 prosecutions.

Shi Weizhong, deputy director of the authority's Juvenile Procuratorial Affairs Office, said the vast majority of complaints filed with the authority involve male offenders, although the proportion of female offenders is rising.

Meanwhile, there was a notable increase in bullying reports involving middle school students 14 to 18 years old, he said.

Zhou came up with some ways to solve the problem, including boosting communication between teachers, parents and students and trying to establish more harmonious relationships among children.

She said it was "strongly" suggested that parents try to be involved in their children's educational experience, as their presence and companionship have proved effective in reducing bullying and its negative effects.

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