Bullying, simply defined, is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the perpetrator and victim. It is a destructive behavior to individuals, families and communities. This report includes findings, resources and recommendations of the Snohomish County Children’s Commission on bullying in Snohomish County.
Background information about bullying is provided as the back drop to gain a deeper understanding of the problem. Data from the Washington State Department of Health, Healthy Youth Survey and the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction shows bullying is being reported by thirteen to thirty three percent of our children in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 across Snohomish County. These numbers are relatively consistent with other county and state data.
While the Commission found scattered anti-bullying activities occurring across the county in 2010-11, concerted school district or community-wide prevention/intervention efforts were not visible in any one district or city. For example, a handful of schools are using social skill-building or substance abuse and violence prevention curricula such as Strengthening Families or Botvin LifeSkills, but mostly focused at an individual building or classroom level. The report acknowledges that findings are not all-inclusive for school or community efforts in bullying prevention.
Recommendations are broad, calling on early learning, K-12 public and private education systems, faith communities, community centers and agencies, medical and mental health providers, juvenile justice, and diversity groups to commit to work together; communicate and collaborate to provide sustainable change. The report gives concrete suggestions as to what can be included in conversations and commitments across all communities, and closes with local resources.