Pa. ranked 4th worst state for impact and treatment of school bullying

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(AP Photo/LM Otero)

(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) As most students returned to in-person learning this school year, a quick look back to classrooms before the pandemic shows how learning environments can be improved moving forward.

According to a new study from WalletHub, Pennsylvania ranked as the 4th worst state in the country for bullying impact and treatment and the 21st worst ranking overall for handling bullying in schools. The study broke down three key metrics, including impact and treatment (4th), prevalence of incidents (34th) and anti-bullying laws (26th).

The low impact and treatment ranking was based on certain sub-metrics, such as student-to-counselor ratio and the share of high school students who were truant for fear of bullying or who had attempted suicide, among other statistics.

The study looked at data from 47 states and the District of Columbia. Minnesota, Oregon and Washington were not included in the study due to data limitations. The data was compiled from the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bureau of Labor Statistics, StopBullying.gov, National Education Association, National Center for Education Statistics, National Conference of State Legislatures, Cyberbullying Research Center and Psychology Today.

These rankings for Pennsylvania are in spite the fact the commonwealth has the 13th lowest rate of bullying incidents in the country. The events taken into account either included physical violence or occurred on school property or over the internet.

Also of note is states lose millions of dollars in attendance funding if students are truant for fear of bullying. The cost for this in the commonwealth is the fifth highest in the country, behind only California, New York, Texas and Illinois.

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