Bullying the focus of Washington summit

School bullies have been an issue students have faced for generations. According to an article written by Sally Holland of CNN, the Education Department is taking a deeper look into the topic.

School bullying is the target of a two-day summit in Washington that kicked off Wednesday morning with Education Secretary Arne Duncan saying bullying undermines learning in schools.

“It is an absolute travesty of our educational system when students fear for their safety at school, worry about being bullied, or suffer discrimination, taunts, because of their ethnicity, their religion, sexual orientation, disability, or host of other reasons,” said Duncan.

Just under a third of students ages 12-18 reported that they had been bullied in school in a recent study by the National Center for Education statistics. The study, done during the 2007-2008 school year, found that the harassment predominantly came in the form of “being made fun of” and “being the subject of rumors.”

Bullying differs from teasing, according to Kevin Jennings with the Education Department’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, which is hosting the first-ever summit on bullying. One reason is that bullying generally involves a power imbalance, he said.

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