FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Arkansas has been ranked in the top 15 for “States with the Biggest Bullying Problems,” according to WalletHub.com.
We spoke with students and professionals about these bullying statistics, and all believe social media has some hand to play.
“Most people have retreated to social media because you can say anything behind a screen,” says Grace Henley, a student at the University of Arkansas.
Henley and Betty Gower are two Rogers High School alum in their freshman year at the U of A, and they say part of the adjustment is a whole new level of bullying on anonymous social platforms.
“You know, since it’s anonymous, you can say things like people’s first and last name, imagine having a good day and then reading your name, and you know everyone is on this app,” says Henley.
It adds 15% of all students surveyed stated they had been cyberbullied at one time or another. Local councilors say this is a problem happening in all different age groups.
“I know things like social media have maybe highlighted it a little more,” says Katie Jenkins, school counselor for Springdale. “The best thing parents can be doing is to be aware of what’s on their kid’s phones.”
Tara Lechtenberger, a School counselor for Washington Elementary in Fayetteville, says she was discouraged when she heard where Arkansas was ranked for school bullying. But she says this is a battle they fight daily with integrated lesson plans.