A decade after the Columbine shootings, the results of a push to rid schools of bullies have been uneven, and schools and experts report only modest success breaking the “code of silence,” reports the Denver Post. In a study last year of 75 schools and community centers in Colorado, about 58 percent of students admitted to either engaging in physical bullying or standing by while someone else did it. When it comes to verbal bullying, the number jumps to 67 percent. “Bullying is still a significant problem in Colorado schools and schools nationally,” said Del Elliott, director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado.
Whether or not Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were bullied – or to what degree – remains an open question. In the immediate aftermath of Columbine, bullying assumed a prominent place in discussions about school safety. Schools sprang into action with bully-prevention programs. The Post interviewed three high school sophomores who have sat through their share of bully-prevention assemblies. They are not particularly impressed. “Nothing’s changed,” said one girl. In 2005, the $9 million Bullying Prevention Initiative was started by the Colorado Trust in 40 counties to try to figure out the best way to teach students how to behave.