Bullying problem must be reduced, prevented:
It is clear that the cartoon printed in the Daily Wildcat has upset our campus community as people try to figure out why a violent homophobic threat would be considered funny and/or worthy of print space in our campus newspaper. We are writing to join the conversation ASUA Pride Alliance started about making this a teachable moment for our campus and community.
We are graduate students with the Crossroads Collaborative, an interdisciplinary coalition of academics, community participants, and local youth who address issues of youth sexuality, health, and rights. Recently we collaborated with Tucson youth and the YWCA Nuestra Voz social justice program to better understand and help stop bullying in Tucson schools.
We surveyed over 400 middle and high school students in Tucson to find out about their experiences with bullying. We learned that bullying is pervasive—1 in 5 youth reported witnessing bullying every day.
The number one reason that youth are bullied in Tucson high schools is because of their sexual orientation. Furthermore, we learned that many youth do not know what behaviors really count as bullying!
These results are concerning, but there are effective ways to reduce and prevent bullying. One way is to intervene in representations that make light of violence against people because of their sexual orientation.
We encourage the Daily Wildcat staff and campus community members to learn more about violence against LGBTQ youth and how to prevent it.
On Monday, Oct. 22, in collaboration with the Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding’s Anti-Bullying Task Force, we are releasing the findings of our study in a new community research brief titled, “Bullying in Public Schools: Rates, Reasons, Prevention Programs and Recommendations.”
We invite the Daily Wildcat along with other campus community members to attend this free gathering in honor of Anti-Bullying Awareness Month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Tucson High School.
We need to step up and take action to stop harassment of and among youth. Bullying has a devastating and lasting effect on the young people of our community.
_— Jenna Vinson and Ryan Watson
Crossroads Collaborative Scholars_