A new study found that the victims of bullying are more likely to bring a firearm onto the school’s grounds that students who aren’t bullied.
The findings appeared this week in the journal Pediatrics.
The research was based on CDC data on more than 15,000 students. Of the participants, 20 percent said they had been victims of bullying over the last 12 months. Around 4 percent of all participants said they carried a weapon to school in the last month.
CDC estimates that, on a national level, over 200,000 bully victims brought a gun or knife to class to defend themselves over the last month. However, bullying was not the only culprit for the trend.
Bully Victims and a Mix Of Three Major Risk Factors
Researchers found that kids who brought weapons to schools had been involved in physical fights, skipped school because they felt unsafe there, or had been injured by a fellow student. If one student had been involved in all these three activities, the likelihood of him bringing a weapon to school jumped from 5% to 46%.
Dr. Andrew Adesman, who was involved in the research and teaches pediatrics at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, noted the research team wanted to understand those who bring weapons into a “safe space”.
Past studies have also shown that bully victims are more likely to carry weapons to school. But the latest research is the first to identify a string of risk factors for the issue.
Researchers also found that half of the group with the highest risk of getting involved in physical violence are bringing weapons to school. Within the group, although girls were more likely to become victims, the boys were three times more likely to bring a weapon to school.
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