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Survey shows technology worsening teen bullying

October 27, 2010 | 11:27 am

If your teenagers complain about being bullied in school, they have plenty of company, according to a new study.

Half of all high school students surveyed said they have bullied someone in the last year and nearly half said they have been the target of bullying, teasing or taunting in ways that seriously upset them.

The study by the Westchester-based Josephson Institute of Ethics released Tuesday used a large sample of more than 43,000 high school students from private and public institutions nationwide.

The results come on the heels of some high-profile youth suicides, including a Rutgers University freshman who jumped off a bridge after roommates posted video on the Internet of him having sex with another man. The survey shows technology and the Internet have worsened the effect of bullying.

“The Internet has intensified the injury. What’s posted on the Internet is permanent, and it spreads like a virus -- there is no refuge,” Michael Josephson, founder and president of the institute, said in a statement.

In addition to verbal and cyber abuse, one in four students reported feeling unsafe in school. More than half said they hit someone within the last year because they were angry.

Ten percent said they took a weapon to school and 16% said they have been intoxicated at school.

-- Ching-Ching Ni