Ending bias-based bullying
July 19, 2021
Bullies have been around for decades, harassing their peers in schools, playgrounds, and in public. But recently, bullying has started to evolve, shifting from more generalized bullying to subtle and targeted bullying. This new form of bullying has been termed biased-based bullying, or the repeated targeting of individuals based on some of their defining characteristics such as sexual orientation, weight, religion, and race. Marla Eisenberg, ScD, MPH, Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health and leader of a study looking into biased-based bullying practices at the University of Minnesota, describes the bullying as a never-ending low-level hum. Since the bullying is less obvious due to its targeted nature, it makes it harder for teachers and fellow students to identify the culprits. As a member of the research community that has spent much of her career studying social influences on children and adolescents, Dr. Eisenberg confirms the large body of literature showing that members of the LGBTQ community are bullied more than their counterparts. Dr. Eisenberg and her team, with support from the Minnesota Masonic Charities, hope to collect and analyze data on violence and bullying in schools. Through this data, they can then construct methods and policies to help create safer schools with better anti-bullying practices to protect those frequently enduring physical and emotional violence from their peers. To read the full article and more about the in-progress study on biased-based bullying, please follow this link.