As Latina contributor Franziska Castillo reported in the March 2011 issue of Latina, while bullying cuts across all social and ethnic groups, some recent studies show a disturbing trend: Our niñas and niños are currently among the most bullied students.
The most recent National Crime Victimization Survey shows more than one in four Latino kids have been bullied. They’re twice as likely as non-Hispanic white students to fear being harmed at school.
The current media and political climate is a big factor; immigrant-and Latino-bashing are far more common overall, and that’s affecting our kids. “There is a broad feeling of being stereotyped at school,” says Patricia Foxen of the National Council of La Raza, who recently led a study on discrimination and Latino youth. Eight of every 10 Hispanic teens reported facing discrimination, and some said even teachers insulted them. Some experts believe that Latina teens’ high rate of both dropping out and attempting suicide is strongly linked to bullying and isolation.
But you can help. This Thursday the White House will be hosting students, educators and parents in a summit to end bullying and they have launched StopBullying.gov, a website that provides helpful tips and information from various government agencies on how kids, teens, young adults, parents and educators can prevent and help stop bullying.