New York (CNN) - A new study commissioned by CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360°" found that the stereotype of the schoolyard bully preying on the weak doesn't reflect reality in schools.
Instead, the research shows that many students are involved in "social combat" - a constant verbal, physical and cyber fight to the top of the school social hierarchy.
"Kids are caught up in patterns of cruelty and aggression that have to do with jockeying for status," explains Robert Faris, a sociologist who "Anderson Cooper 360°" partnered with for the pilot study. "It's really not the kids that are psychologically troubled who are on the margins or the fringes of the school's social life. It's the kids right in the middle, at the heart of things ... often, typically highly, well-liked popular kids who are engaging in these behaviors."
Faris, along with the co-author of the study, Diane Felmlee, also found that bullies, who they call aggressors, and victims are not defined roles, but in many cases, they can be the same person. The higher a student rises on the social ladder, the more they bully other students and the more other students bully them.
"When kids increase in their status, on average, they tend to have a higher risk of victimization as well as a higher risk of becoming aggressive," Faris says.
The studywas conducted this spring at The Wheatley School, a nationally top-ranked high school on Long Island, New York. More than 700 students at the school were given a survey with 28 questions on aggressive behavior four separate times throughout the semester. They were also given a roster of the entire school in which every student had an identification number and kids were asked to write down specifically who did what.
Watch "The roots of bullying."
Every parent, educator and teen needs to know what the AC360° bullying study reveals about "social combat" and the devastating and lasting effects of bullying.
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Filed under: Live Blog
Reporter's Note: The president and his fellow Democrats have a lot of support among voters for this idea of taxing the rich. But as I note in today’s letter, defining who is rich may present the first real challenge.
Dear Mr. President,
Rich is a tricky word, isn’t it? We can all pretty much agree that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are rich. Or at least, let’s put it this way: If I ride through Taco Bell with them late one night, I won’t be grabbing for my wallet too fast. However, when we work our way down the food chain, it gets murkier.
I say this, because after months of you talking about any family making over $250,000 a year as rich, now some Congressional Dems want to redefine rich as those making more than a million a year. Their reason? The definition of rich is not the same from town to town.
It takes much more money to live in big urban centers than it does in many smaller communities. Housing, utilities, food, medical care, and transportation are all much more expensive in cities, so people who live there know that their dollars won’t go nearly as far as they might elsewhere. Accordingly, wages that might make you rich in Manhattan, Kansas, can leave you squarely in the middle class in Manhattan, New York.
And then there are our perceptions.
When I started working, I made around $14,000 a year and I thought I was the Sultan of Brunei. (Actually, I had not even heard of him then, but you get my point.) I could pay all my bills. I enjoyed a few treats, like a Clapton concert or a meal out now and then, and after a few years, I had even saved enough for a stereo. I had no complaints, and yet at that point in my life, anyone who made…oh say..$30,000 a year was rich, or at least getting rich a lot faster than I was.
Today, however, I look back and wonder how I got by at all. I imagine that I need so much more than I did back then, and I see money in such different ways. So my definition of rich has changed.
Anyway, good luck sorting out a definition of rich that will work for your party and whatever legislation will finally emerge from the Hill. Suffice to say, it will make someone unhappy, because I’ve found the definition of rich is often “anyone who makes more than me.”
Are you watching Monday Night football? You know that your Bears are on! Give a ring if you want me to swing over.
Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 8pm to see if you are our favorite!
Update! Congratulations to the winners:
“Her name was Magill, and she called herself Lil, but everyone knew her as Nancy."
Filed under: Beat 360°
An AC360° study on bullying exposes "social combat" in schools, and why the bullies are sometimes the victims too. The study was commissioned as part of the CNN, Facebook, Cartoon Network and Time Inc. "Bullying: It Stops Here" initiative.
Editor's note: Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year continues through December 7 at CNNHeroes.com. The winner will be announced at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," which airs December 11, live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
(CNN) - Eddie Canales' nonprofit, Gridiron Heroes, provides emotional and financial support to high school football players who've sustained life-changing spinal cord injuries.
Canales' son Chris was paralyzed during a high school football game in 2001. But it was a year later when the two came up with the idea to help other kids and their families.
Eddie and Chris were watching a high school football game from the stands when they saw another player suffer a spinal cord injury. They reached out to the injured player and his family, and within months, Gridiron Heroes was born.
CNN asked Canales for his thoughts on being chosen as one of thetop 10 CNN Heroes of 2011.
CNN: Where you were when you got the call that you'd been selected as a top 10 CNN Hero?
Eddie Canales: I was sitting at the dining room table, going over information about an event we hosted the weekend before.
I was so excited! I was listening to the other details, thinking to myself, "This is what Gridiron Heroes needs: creating awareness on a big picture."
Filed under: CNN Heroes
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