Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Bullying Takes Academic Toll on Latinos

Do Latino and black students suffer more from bullying than white students?

According to a report presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, the answer is yes. A study, which examined the effect of bullying on 9,590 students from 580 schools, found that the grade point averages of Latino and black students who had been bullied dropped by a larger margin than the GPAs of bullied white students.

While white students who reported being bullied in 10th grade saw their GPAs fall by .03 points from 9th to 12th grade, Latino students who had a 3.5 GPA in 9th grade experienced a .5 point drop by the 12th grade.

The study’s lead author believes high-achieving black and Latino students may be especially vulnerable because they defy negative stereotypes.

But education reporters should also look at the context of the communities they cover. Has there been a increase in anti-immigrant sentiment, which might spill over into school hallways? Ask school officials and community advocates if they are seeing any incidents of bullying targeting specific ethnic or immigrant groups.