School bullying remains major problem in Hawaii, new poll says

A statewide survey among registered Hawaii voters found that bullying among school-aged children continues to be a significant problem in Hawaii.

The survey was conducted for Equality Hawaii Foundation by Qmark Research.

Pollsters conducted 442 telephone interviews with Hawaii residents statewide. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.6 percent.

Among the questions posed:

  • “Remember back to when you were in school, yes or no, do you feel you personally were ever the victim of bullying?” 37 percent said yes, they were victims.
  • “Yes or no, has your child or the child of friends or family been the victim of bullying?” 44 percent said their child or a child of a friend or family member has been bullied.
  • “How important is it for the state of Hawaii to address bullying? Would you say it is very important, somewhat important, somewhat unimportant or very unimportant?” 92 percent of the voters say bullying is important for the state of Hawaii to address.

“These are disturbing numbers in that they show the problem of bullying in our schools continues unabated, and so long as that’s the case, our schools are not safe for a majority of students,” said Don Bentz, executive director of Equality Hawaii Foundation.

Download: Full poll results here (.pptx)

“It used to be you could leave school and get away from bullying. Now, with Facebook, it can be 24/7 and from a large group of people quickly,” said board member Mathew Bellhouse-King.

The foundation has advocated for school administrators to develop training and outreach programs to ensure safe and bully-free schools.

It hopes that data from the survey will be used by state lawmakers during the next legislative session to right laws against bullying.

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