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Student attitudes toward violence

Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 12/05) - A survey asking questions about school violence went out to every student at St. Patrick high school recently.

NNSL Photo/graphic

St. Patrick high school principal Johnnie Bowden: Looking for "hard data."

When asked why a survey was conducted at St. Pat's concerning bullying, school principal Johnnie Bowden said he wants to take a closer look.

"We want to know what the real situation is in our schools so we can ensure the school stays safe," Bowden said.

The survey was obtained from the B.C. Ministry of Education. It asks 56 clearly-defined questions concerning what constitutes bullying.

The survey states that physical bullying is when someone hits, shoves, kicks, spits or beats up another person. Verbal bullying can be name-calling, mocking or hurtful teasing.

Then there's social bullying: when others are excluded from a group, gossiped about, or when others are made to look foolish. "We're not naive enough to think it doesn't happen," Bowden says.

The survey will also help educators at St. Pat's to determine where and when bullying occurs. Not all incidences go reported, or are all bullies caught.

"I believe the incidences that make it to the office are the tip of the iceberg," Bowden said. "What we need is the hard data."

The school is in the process of analyzing the data gathered from the survey, said Bowden. The results of the survey will be available by early 2006.