Youth risk survey reveals bully numbers in South Dakota - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Youth risk survey reveals bully numbers in South Dakota

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The Youth Risk Behavior Survey measures where individual states stand on issues of bullying. Some of us were surprised to discover an interesting trend here in South Dakota.

Numbers from that survey, with relation to bullying, show it's on the rise.

1500 students from 25 schools were randomly selected to answer 100 questions from healthy eating to safe habits.

20% of South Dakota youth who completed the survey admitted they were bullied in 2011 on school property. The national average sits at 20.1%

Awareness is also on the rise as one of the biggest youth topics of the 21st century.

"It's surprising that it's that high. I know the schools do address it and they do a good job addressing it and raising awareness, it's something that's always been going on but raising awareness is the first step in getting it to stop," Kathy Alfred said.

That awareness has been heightened by young people taking their own lives. And in popular culture as TV shows and movies attempt to capture what it's really like for victims, and their bullies.

"In the movies you see people being really assertive about it. In schools, it's petty, little snide comments, shoved into lockers, but it's not as obvious," high school student Molly Gray said.

While most people say it doesn't affect them, they know it is around their schools.

"I don't think it's right at all. I would stand up for people if they got bullied but I don't really see it as much," Kaylie Alfred said.

"It's mainly side comments. You'll be nice to someone to their face but when they walk away you ask 'why'd they say that? That's so stupid'" Samie Domm said.

"I don't think people really let on how they feel, they want to act tough and want to act like it doesn't bother them but inside, it crushes them. I'd say it's a big deal," Gray said.

The survey also reveals South Dakota has improved in the number of kids fighting on campus. That sits at 8.2% where the national average is 12%

The South Dakota Department of Health says bringing those bully numbers down is a team effort by parents, schools and young people.

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