LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A new nationwide study ranks Michigan the worst state when it comes to bullying.
The report released Tuesday measured the rate of bullying in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
17 key areas where looked at ranging from how often bullying happens to the number of those bullied online.
According to the report Michigan also ranks 3rd for the percentage of high school kids bullied on school property and 5th for highest percentage of high schools students bullied online.
“I think it is a call to arms that we all need to do more,” said Anti-Bullying Advocate Kevin Epling.
Epling has been pushing for legislation since losing his own son Matt to bullying back in 2002.
Since then, Epling and his wife, pushed to get Matt’s Law passed which it did in 2011.
It now requires every school in the state to have an anti-bullying policy.
But even with it in place Epling says this new report proves schools aren’t doing enough.
“There are few schools in Michigan that I can actually point to that are doing a fantastic job,” said Epling.
The reason? Epling says districts need to be more transparent and honest.
“For every school district that says they’re doing good things. I get emails from parents and students saying they are not,” said Epling.
WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez says the report is an important wake-up call for Michigan educators and hopes schools will invest in more time and money in tackling the issue.
For the full report click here.