Bullying in high school is not just a problem of individual torment: It is linked to lower academic achievement across the school.
So concludes research that investigated student behavior in nearly 300 high schools in Virginia, including most of those in the Washington suburbs.
The research shows that high school campuses with more reported bullying had lower passing rates on Virginia's standardized tests.
"Bullying had a schoolwide impact, and we were able to show it reduced the level of academic engagement and involvement in student activities among students as whole," said co-author Dewey Cornell, a professor at the University of Virginia who studies school safety.
Schools with high levels of reported bullying had lower passing rates - by an average of 3 to 6 percent across tests - when compared with schools with less reported bullying. The gap was reflected on state exams in algebra, world history and earth science, which factor into how Virginia rates its schools.
The findings coincide with increasing public concern about bullying.
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