tv Washington Journal Jackie Nowicki CSPAN December 13, 2021 12:01pm-12:31pm EST
public service along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> later today, former republican congressman tom graves participates in a discussion about making changes to legislative earmarks. the american enterprise institute hosts. watch live at 1:00 p.m. eastern, on c-span.org, or full coverage on our new video app. icki, the education workforce and income security director of the government accountability office . here to talk with us this morning about their new report on hate in u.s. schools and violence in u.s. schools. jacqueline nowicki, welcome to "washington journal." guest: thank you for having me. host: first, tell me the overall mission of the government accountability office. guest: gao is a nonpartisan
congressional agency. we are tasked with providing objective fact-based analysis for both sides of the aisle. gao analyzes and audits programs and provides information to congress for them to use in their decision-making. we are not policymakers ourselves. host: the way your reports are generated, you get a request from a lawmaker or somebody else within the administration to follow-up on this particular issue? guest: correct. like almost all gao work, this work was punted by congressional interest. it is obviously a high interest topic. this specifically was done in response to a request from the house committee on education and labor. host: this report was generated, covering what years? guest: we looked at nationally
generalized survey data over a series of years, from about 2014 to the most recent data we used was school year 2018. host: for our viewers and listeners, that report is in the k-12 education. the title of the report is students' experiences with bullying, hate crimes, and victimization in schools. jacqueline nowicki, how do you begin a report like this? what are you looking for? what kind of data? guest: in general, the first thing we do is consider what congress wants to know, and like most researchers, we create research questions that are unbiased and objective, that will help us answer those questions or uncover information
that would give congress information about what it wants to know, and we look for data that is reliable, available, validated sources. in this case, we used two nationally generalizable surveys. one was a survey of school principals, and the other was a survey of school students. we also talked to federal civil rights groups, the department of education, those sorts of things. host: the headline from the washington post reporting on your report. students have faced a huge jump in hostile behavior. attacks with weapons doubled. one in five students ages 12 to 18 were bullied during the 2017-18 school year. 2018-19, one in four students
saw bullying related to race, national origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation. one in four saw hate symbols or words in their schools. give us a sense of how this compares to previous data that gao may have reported on, or other available data on that. guest: for bullying specifically, that has remained relatively constant over time. it is really hate crimes, physical assault with a weapon, those specific types of hostile behaviors have significantly increased. those in particular have doubled. i wouldn't say it is a mixed bag but while bullying has been around for a long time and isn't new, certain types of bullying really seemed to have ticked up in the last several years.
bullying based on identity, things like race, ethnicity, sexual identity or orientation, physical assaults with a weapon, sexual assault. those kinds of specific incidents have definitely ticked up more recently. host: did you find that the internet social media in particular is exacerbating reports of bullying? guest: social media and cyber bullying is not new. it has definitely been getting more attention, lately and social media and the internet, like they say, the internet is forever and with respect to these incidents, it is a double-edged sword. because the incidents are hard to get rid of, they can continue harming students, and people who have similar identities as the
victims but because they are hard to get rid of online, i think documenting them and awareness of them has certainly become a little easier and perhaps more prevalent. host: i want to ask about two big numbers, attacks with weapons and the threat of an attack with weapons. from the 2015-16 school year to the next, 5300 reports. the next year, 11,000 physical attacks with weapons in the 2017-18 school year. the threat of attacks, 18,000 in the 2015-16 school year and 27,000 in the 2017-18 school year. what is behind that huge jump in numbers? guest: the data we looked at for this report doesn't allow us to
know why these numbers are increasing. i will say we did find that schools that are associated with widespread disorder, disrespectful behavior, more commonly has issues like this, but the data that we have come of the federal data doesn't tell us why instances are increasing. host: also physical and sexual assaults increasing. in 2017-18, about 64 attempted rapes occurred in 726 schools. sexual assault other than rape increased by 17% during the same period. nearly 1000 schools reported sexual from staff against students. this is also an increase. are the schools themselves
taking any measures based on what your report is finding? guest: yes. we did find a lot of schools are taking steps to improve their school climates in general. confident school climates are associated with less frequent instances like these. things like anti-bullying training, they are increasing the types of social emotional learning programs. creating and for the and improve it -- creating empathy and improving problem-solving skills. we also found a number of instances where schools are
ignoring these behaviors and sometimes with serious consequences for sustained periods of time. that is up and when the department of education or justice will get involved and initiate and it -- initiate an investigation. host: how long did this together? guest: on average, gao reports take somewhere between nine and 12 months. this took slightly longer than that. this one, it took us a little bit longer to get the data that we needed. host: jackie nowicki, spearheading this report, she is the director of the education workforce insecurity at the government accountability office .
if you are an educator, that number is (202)-748-8000. for parents, (202)-748-8001. for all others, (202)-748-8002. we welcome your comments via text at (202)-748-8003. on twitter, we are @cspanwj. a question for you, jackie nowicki. this was sent in. my massachusetts town schools never reported a leading incidents as if we never had them. is there a source for student reported built -- student reported bullying or does it all get filtered by staff? guest: there is a general nationalized survey that goes to students. because it is a survey sample, it does not go to all students. school districts, they report regularly on bullying incidents
in their schools but that is from the school district, not from students. if anyone has instances that they feel are connected to identity, those sort of civil rights issues, you can file a complaint directly with the department of education office of civil rights. host: quickly before we go to calls, the headline from the wall street journal over the weekend, schools see a rise in student misbehavior, school district across the u.s. say they are seeing a surge of student misbehavior in the return to in person learning after months of closures and disruptions due to the pandemic. i know we will get questions about that. your report focuses on the school year 2017-18, correct? guest: our data went from 2014-15 through school year
2018-19. that was the most recent data available at the time we did this report. i will say that in general, returning to in person school as we all know has not been easy for many students. there has been a rise in exam t and depression before the spring of 2020 but the pandemic has definitely accelerated that. we've spoken to dozens of parents, teachers and school officials this year over the course of different engagements we are working on and it is not uncommon to hear from them about increased behavior and a lack of socialization. host: let's go to calls on our subject with jackie nowicki. robert is first up in randolph, massachusetts. caller: thanks for taking my call. i have a question or comment. my question is we harden the school by putting insecurity and all that. i don't think that hardening the
school will be the answer alone. i know that it will be a deterrent but i think we are focused much more on hardening the school. what we need to do is prepare the students to know what the problem is. the jump from 5000 to 11,000 is the fact that we had a presidency for four years that encouraged this kind of behavior. if it's a rally happening, he would say let's kick them where they belong. if it's at the top, in the bottom up becomes normal with four years of the trump presidency. if you have a president who does not set an example to calm down that kind of behavior, you've got kids coming in with a gun to shoot because they don't see that there is a problem to be
solved. they don't talk to their parents or these kinds of steps. hardening the school would not be the solution, because he can't solve this problem with guns. host: ok. jackie nowicki? guest: your caller is raising a good point. there needs to be a multipronged approach. students, parents, staff, the entire community, school officials are really responsible for creating positive, safe environments in their schools and communities. schools are microcosms of their community. there are a number of steps that schools are taking, some of them are named -- some of them are things the caller was mentioning.
teaching problem-solving skills and empathy to prevent those kinds of behaviors in the future. we did see an increase in the use of school resource officers in schools. it is unclear, the degree to which school resource officers improve school climates. the data is mixed. is a multipronged approach, and i think -- it is a multipronged approach and i think a safer more positive school environment is depended on everyone behaving in ways that we would want -- dependent on everyone behaving in ways that we would want. host: casey is next in rhode island. caller: good morning. a good topic. i have a solution. get rid of all the phones, from these teenagers, these young kids walking around with to phones where they don't need
them. they need new ways of teaching in the schools. it's not the school's responsibility to teach our children how to be kind to other people. it is up to the parents. may be the children and teenagers should get more involved in something they can do for their communities, or help each other out. i tell my grandmother -- my granddaughter that was suspended last week for taking a picture of somebody that has a disability. that broke my heart, because that is how i made my living for 35 years, taking care of other people. it is sad what is happening to our children, and the parents need to check themselves. they are looking at the adults behaving like spoiled brats, so
who is the adult in the house and also i agree with the person that just got off the phone, from massachusetts. everybody have a good morning. take the phones from the carriage. -- from the kids. they shouldn't even have it. host: we talked a little bit about social media. that is part of having a phone, if you want to expand on that. guest: we haven't looked specifically at phones and how they play into school climates but we do know that cyber bullying and social media bullying are significant problems. schools struggle -- the definition of what it means to be in school has changed. it was changing before the pandemic but when school becomes online, that becomes a real
challenge for schools to sort of figure out where their authority ends and how to address those issues. for cyber bullying, there are steps you can take to report it. you cannot respond to social media posts, you cannot share them. to the caller's point, thinking about kindness and ways that you would want to be treated goes a long way. host: they question from you from ohio. do you think our children are safer in the charter and public schools? does your data separate it by that? guest: we did not look by school type for safety. we do know from past work that we have done on violence in
schools that incidents are -- the types of active shooter type schoolwide targeted shootings, we know a little bit about the commonality or the more frequent occurrences of those types of shootings, those tend to be more in suburban and rural wealthier waiter schools -- wealthier whiter schools. but we have not looked at charter schools versus other types of schools. host: you had statistics about attacks and threats with weapons. typically in a school situation, what types of weapons are we talking about? guest: everything from guns and knives, everything in between. host: next up, travis on our
parents line. caller: thank you for c-span and thank you for your guest. i just wanted to bring up a point. it seems like a lot of people are hitting this point. it is the parents that need to be more involved and this tribalism going on right now, i'm 55 years old, i was in the army and they grew up in the midwest. the point i'm trying to bring up is that the tribalism is ridiculous. my kids grew up in the army going from place to place and they were around many different nationalities, around different people and they had to make friends, and they had to see people for who they were and not from what other people said they were and i guess that is just the biggest point is that the kids are just inundated like the caller before said, with the social media, and the whole
tribalism stuff is just ridiculous. i remember when mulatto used to be a popular word meaning you were part white and part black but the tribalism is what i think is driving everybody to this hate. host: jackie nowicki, any comments? guest: we did see some examples of school communities responding to these types of incidents and showing that hate has no place in their schools. programs that are meant to bridge those kinds of differences the caller is talking about. we have also seen students take matters into their own hands and tell adults that we need to do better. we are seeing walkouts and other student actions demanding that hateful behavior occurring in their schools be addressed. host: does your report look at
attempts or threats against teachers or attacks against teachers as well? guest: i believe it is not just targeted against students. a number of the incidents that are in the data involve both students and staff. i don't believe they are separated out to no percentages of who is involved in what. host: this is the education headline on the gao report. violence and hate crimes in schools surge. our guest is from the government accountability office, jackie nowicki. we welcome your calls. for educators, (202)-748-8000. parents, (202)-748-8001. all others, (202)-748-8002. in new york city, we will hear from edward next. caller: hello there. can you hear me properly? host: yes we can.
caller: i had a quick question about this situation. you are talking about hate rising in schools. obviously we can agree that the rise in hate is very much digital and a sense but there is not much we can do as parents or teachers to combat that, other than the mental health of the students themselves. what do you plan on doing for the mental health of these students? caller: a couple things -- guest: a couple things. in terms of cyber bullying itself and trying to get a handle on it, the federal website stopbullying.gov has information on how to report cyber bullying. parents and students can take immediate steps in their own lives are not responding to posts, documenting the bullying, blocking the bully on social
media. you can report the incidences to online service for right -- online service providers, law-enforcement and school districts. to the point about mental health, the availability of mental health services is so important for a variety of reasons but we also know from research we have done in past years that mental health professionals are not as widely available in all schools. only about half of schools across the nation offer mental health assessments in school your 2017-18 and only a little more than a third of them offered mental health services and it is a big part of addressing the whole child. host: your report was generated by a request from the house education committee. what happens next to this report with that committee? what will that committee do with your report? guest: historically, congress uses gao reports in any number
of ways. they may hold hearings on the topic, form legislation, raise awareness on issues when there are recommendations. this report does not happen to have any recommendations but the federal agencies may take action in response to a gao report as well. we know the department of education is beginning to look at and revisit some of its guidance to schools around dealing with these issues, so we may see some changes in the future. we will have to wait and see. host: next up is mary on our parents line from wisconsin. caller: good morning and god bless you. i just wanted to mention that in one school, a soccer coach shook my daughter and my daughter ended up getting her fired
because my daughter was secure in using her voice. altogether, only one girl stood up to her and supported her, and that was after she graduated from high school. that teacher was a bully. the other person was my son. my son got caught speeding -- my son told me, and we went and talked to the principal. i thought i would have to defend my son from bullies at school but not from the teachers. teachers should be held accountable for their actions and the subject matter they teach our students. the salaries should go to how well they teach. if you don't take -- if you don't teach patience, you will
not get paid for very long. parents need to be responsible, to get teachers held accountable for their actions. another thing really quickly. there was a man who tried to give her a hug and she said i don't give hugs. i shake people's hands. he ended up in prison now. she said inquire, girls, stay away from this man. is not good. is going to be working on somebody else because he tried it on me. host: was that person employed by the school? caller: yes. he was in the newspaper. my daughter went to his house, and he was married and had children, trying to get to these other girls. they have way too much power,
and educators need to be hired by the parents, not by this system. host: several things there, jackie nowicki? guest: and the data that we discussed earlier, the problems are not just student on student. they do sometimes involve school officials and teachers. there are very public and sadly recent cases in a couple school districts around the country with documented incidences of the types of behaviors that the caller referenced. if your child is experiencing situations like that, parents can report them to >> you can watch the rest of this program by going by c-span.org or on c-span now.
the house returns for legislative business tomorrow, live coverage here on c-span. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., december 13, 2021. i hereby appoint the honorable g.k. butterfield to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, nancy pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, reverend michael welker, ruth