As yet another week of the wheels on the bus going ’round and ’round draws to a close, we found some interesting news related to bullying, and technology that aids with student transportation.
First, the journal JAMA Psychiatry reported new research that focuses on bullies, stating that the aggressor suffers the most, not the victim. Researchers did note that the effects of bullying for anyone last well into adulthood, causing depression, panic disorder and agoraphobia, but bullies are at a higher risk in exhibiting these effects throughout their lives.
The study of about 1,400 kids found that those victimized by bullies are three to five times more likely to experience those psychological effects throughout their 20s. But for kids who are just plain bullies, they are four to five times more likely to exhibit an “anti-social personality disorder,” which is characterized by a lack of empathy, lying and criminal behavior.
A third type of bully, kids who are both victims and bullies, apparently suffer the most. They run a five-fold risk of depression and more than a 10-fold risk of various panic disorders. In this case, girls are more likely to develop agoraphobia, a fear of spaces that don’t have easy escape routes, according to the study.
Researchers noted that examining a child’s experience at school is the first step in helping him or her from being bullied or turning into one, because in many cases the issue doesn’t stem from potential problems at home. There are many kids living in positive, healthy homes who are bullied at school.
One bullying victim who is now an adult, and a spoken word poet, created a unique animated video with an anti-bullying message that is sure to stick with viewers. Shane Koyczan’s video, entitled “To This Day,” details his and others’ scary and trying moments with bullying — events from their childhood that shaped their lives. It’s worth a viewing to find out why Koyczan, to this day, hates pork chops. He writes on his “To This Day” website: “My experiences with violence in schools still echo throughout my life, but standing to face the problem has helped me in immeasurable ways.”
From bullying to biometrics, the first school district in Texas will soon begin using fingerprint-based biometric systems on its school buses to ensure students board the right bus. The staff at Sinton Independent School District, located less than 30 miles north of Corpus Christie, this week was busy recording fingerprints for the systems, scheduled for installment on buses next week, according to an article. Students will scan their fingerprint and the time clock will record the information and sync it to a Cloud-based system for parents and administrators to check.
The school district paid $20,000 for three years for the system, built by uAttend. A small percentage of parents opted out of the program for identity theft concerns, though the biometric sign-in device does not take or store fingerprint images.