2014 K12 Inc Poll Shows Students Choosing Online School to Escape Bullying

October 22, 2014
97% of affected group say they would recommend online school. K12 launches national "High Fives for Bully-Free Lives" campaign to support National Bullying Prevention Month

HERNDON, Va., Oct. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of their initiative to support National Bullying Prevention Month, K12 Inc. [NYSE: LRN] – a leading provider of online learning solutions for kindergarten through twelfth grade students – engaged Edge Research to repeat a 2013 survey that focused on suitability of online schools as an alternative for students experiencing bullying. Over 2000 parents with children currently enrolled in online schools using the K12 program completed the survey. 21% of all responding parents and 31% of parents with high school students who responded cited bullying as one of the reasons they chose online learning. 97% of the parents who enrolled children for this reason would recommend a K12-powered program to a family with a student who is being bullied.

K12 Inc., a company of educators, is leading the transformation to individualized learning as the nation's foremost provider of technology-powered proprietary online solutions for students in pre-kindergarten through high school. (PRNewsFoto/K12 Inc.)

The effects of bullying include:

  • Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and poor school adjustment (Center for Disease Control, 2012).
  • Students who bully others are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems, and violence later in adolescence and adulthood (Center for Disease Control, 2012).
  • Compared to students who only bully, or who are only victims, students who do both suffer the most serious consequences and are at greater risk for both mental health and behavior problems (Center for Disease Control, 2012).
  • Students who experience bullying are twice as likely as non-bullied peers to experience negative health effects such as headaches and stomachaches (Gini and Pozzoli, 2013)

Parents whose children attend a K12 partner school due to a bullying issue also give high marks to academic and security related benefits of choosing online learning: 

  • 91% said that attending a K12 partner school has been "very helpful" in dealing with the bullying issue their child experienced previously
  • 95% think the student would be safe and secure
  • 90% believe their child is benefiting academically

A large percentage of these parents also noted an improvement in focus in their child.

"One out of 10 students drops out or changes schools because of repeated bullying," said Laurel Barrette, Director, School Counseling Services at K12. "Bullying has been shown to negatively affect academic performance, school attendance, and linked to mental health, substance use, as well as suicide. Online schools offer a safe haven from bullying and allow students to thrive."

Pledging to be Bully-Free

In conjunction with National Bullying Prevention Month, K12 has launched a social campaign to raise awareness. Dubbed "High Fives for Bully-Free Lives", the effort asks students, parents, educators and others to sign a pledge and share a "high five" photo of themselves and friends on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram by using hashtag #High5BullyFree. Students and parents also have the option of sharing their personal experiences with bullies on the K12 'What's Your Story" site.

"Parents, teachers and learning coaches are encouraged to demonstrate their support for raising kind children and giving them the bully-free life they deserve by taking our pledge" said Allison Cleveland, Executive Vice President for School Services and Management. "By sharing your story and high five photo you can show students who are being bullied they are not alone."

Survey Methodology

Edge Research conducted the survey on behalf of K12 Inc. from September 9-17, 2014. The survey was completed by 2,038 US parents whose students have are enrolled at an online school using the K12 program for the 2014/15 school year. 1,303 of these are parents of students in kindergarten through eighth grade; 735 are parents of high school students. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact press(at)K12(dot)com.

About K12 Inc.

K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN) is driving innovation and advancing the quality of education by delivering state-of-the-art, digital learning platforms and technology to students and school districts across the globe. K12's award winning curriculum serves over 2,000 schools and school districts and has delivered more than four million courses over the past decade. K12 is a company of educators with the nation's largest network of K-12 online school teachers, providing instruction, academic services, and learning solutions to public schools and districts, traditional classrooms, blended school programs, and directly to families. The K12 program is offered through K12 partner public schools in approximately two-thirds of the states and the District of Columbia, and through private schools serving students in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. More information can be found at K12.com.

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Amy Bristle, Senior Manager, K12 Corporate Communications, Press@k12.com, 703-483-7529