School Bullying from the Perspective of Latino Parents in East and South L.A.
Mentor:Margaret Manning, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding, California State University Dominguez Hills
School bullying has been widely publicized as a major health problem that leads to long-term effects for victims, such as depression and even suicide, but also for bullies as adult perpetrators of domestic violence. Fifty percent of kids experience bullying as victims, bullies or bystanders. Yet, in spite of the publicity there are pockets of parents who remain uninformed about the causes and remedies for bullying in Los Angeles. This researcher studied Latino parent’s awareness, beliefs and attitudes towards school bullying in East and South Los Angeles. The project included two studies: (1) the first comprised of 10 Latina immigrant mothers in South L.A. with a child who had been victimized, and (2) the second was composed of 50 second generation Latino parents of both sexes in East L.A. Study 1 used a semi-structured questionnaire followed by a personal interview in Spanish, while Study 2 used a self-administered questionnaire in Spanish or English with fixed choice responses. The immigrant Latina mothers reported that sons are physically bullied more than once per week and resort to retaliatory violence, whereas the American-born parents believed that bullies tend to have power and bullying does not get resolved or outgrown. However, both of the groups expected teachers, principals and parents to stop the bullying; wanted to be better informed; and admitted that they were totally ignorant of conflict resolution programs. It raised the issue of whether promotion of conflict resolution and peer mediation training is appropriate for Latino cultures in L.A.