In a first-of-its kind study, statistics reveal that one-fourth of Massachusetts' middle schoolers have been bullied at school.
The report by the state Department of Public Health found links between family dynamics and bullying, Boston.com reports.
The study reveals that students who were involved in bullying as either a victim or an aggressor were five times more likely to report they had been hurt physically by a family member. John Auerbach, Massachusetts public health commissioner, tells Boston.com that the findings will help inform training.
"If we are working with women who are victims of domestic violence, for instance, it is clear the children would need special supports to lessen the likelihood that they are victims or bullies'' or both victims and perpetrators, Auerbach said.
The study also indicated that 16 percent of high schoolers have been bullied. Both middle and high school students say they don't need numbers to know bullying is a problem at their schools.
Steve Marcelin, a senior at the Social Justice Academy high school in Hyde Park, tells Boston.com that when he moved from Haiti five years ago, he was bullied as he tried to learn English.
"Most of the time I felt powerless,'' Marcelin said. "I would try to, in school, keep a straight face, but at home I would cry.''
Springfield Middle Schooler Jessica Reyes tells CBS3 she hopes teachers will be a primary catalyst in bullying prevention.
"Teachers should actually step up and do something about it because there's teachers where you say things to them, but they don't care," Reyes said.
Because Massachusetts is the first state to conduct this type of bullying survey, it's not possible to compare results nationwide, Boston.com reports.