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The Many Sides and High Cost of Bullying

Consequences of bullying are much more far-reaching and complex than immediate injury or trauma

Bullying has been recognized as a significant problem which has only been complicated by the advent of social media. Recent studies have shown the dramatic and long-term impact of bullying for all involved. It turns out that not only is the student being bullied negatively affected but studies have shown the negative impact of bullying behavior on those who witness the bullying and, have even shown that the bully was much more likely to be abusing alcohol after a bullying event. Responding to this issue is complicated by perceptions about who is a bully and what bullying really is.


These studies are typical of recent findings:

 Long-term Impact of Bullying – Childhood bullying can lead to long term health consequences, including general and mental health issues, behavioral problems, eating disorders, smoking, alcohol use, and homelessness, a study by the Crime Victims’ Institute at Sam Houston State University found.

Common Bond Between the Bully and the Bullied – A new study out of the University of Cincinnati finds that both school bullies and their victims are likely to abuse alcohol after a bullying episode. The study found that school violent victimization was associated with increased odds of recent alcohol use and heavy drinking among both males and females and across 7th-12th grades.

No Bullies Here: Student Labels Of ‘Bullying’ Can Be Misleading – Both students and adults may have problems distinguishing between labeling a student as a bully and identifying bullying behavior, even in themselves.

Witnesses to Bullying May Face More Mental Health Risks Than Bullies and Victims -Students who witnessed acts of bullying were more likely to report greater psychological distress than those students who were bullies or victims, according to the results of this study. This was the case even for students who had not been victims themselves, although being both a witness and a victim was a significant predictor of mental health problems.


Dennis has been the Director of the the VT-HEC since it was founded in 2000. He spent 16 years at the VT-DOE as Director of teams with various names that included: special education, Title I, health and wellness and other family and education support services. Prior to that Dennis worked at the Barre Town School (VT) starting as a special educator and serving many years as the Director of Student Support Services. He also spent 6 years as a classroom teacher grades 5-8 in NJ.

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