School Injuries – ED Visits – REJECT A Documentary Film

Annually 90,000 U.S. students suffer intentional injuries that require a visit to a hospital emergency room

Does that statistic surprise you? If you think back to your own grade school through high school days, did you ever have to visit an emergency room(ER) or what we now refer to as an emergency department (ED) because you were injured at school? Perhaps you were injured during recess or physical education or maybe you fell down the stairs – accidents do happen; however, these annual 90,000 U.S. students referenced in the heading suffered “intentional injuries” at the hands of their classmate(s). 

New study peruses ED data gathered from 2001 to 2008

On January 13, 2014, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published online the following article: “Emergency Department Visits Resulting From Intentional Injury In and Out of School.” The lead co-author was Dr. Siraj Amanullah, MD, MPH who is affiliated with the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island and the Injury Prevention Center, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island. Participating co-authors included Julia A. Heneghan, MD; Dale W. Steele, MD, MS; Michael J. Mello, MD, MPH; and James G. Linakis, PhD, MD.

Research parameters…

  • Data reviewed was provided by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System – All Injury Program
  • Data was gathered from 2001 to 2008
  • Researchers were specifically looking for emergency department visits (EDVs) following an intentional injury

Research findings… provides a concise overview of the statistical findings:

Out of an estimated 7.39 million emergency department visits {from 2001-2008]due to injuries occurring at school, approximately 736,014 (10 percent) were reported as intentional. Gender and age disparities were identified.

  • Boys, and children in the 10- to 14-year age group most likely to be identified as at risk for intentional injury-related emergency department visits from the school setting.

  • Girls, and children in the 15- to 19-year age group were most at risk for intentional injury-related emergency department visits from outside of the school setting.
  • African-American race and Hispanic ethnicity were both found to be associated with higher risks in the school setting compared to outside school.

The kinds of intentional injuries varied with fractures at 12%, brain injuries at 10%, strains and sprains 7%, and cuts and bruises being the most common at 40%.  96% resulted from an assault with the perpetrator being either a friend or acquaintances. 10% of the assaults were committed by multiple perpetrators.

Intentional injuries are just one by-product of bullying

You may remember that last February we reported on a study which outlined the long lasting psychiatric effects of being both the bully and the bullied:

  • Victims and bullies/victims had elevated rates of young adult psychiatric disorders, as well as elevated rates of childhood psychiatric disorders and family hardships. 
  • Victims were found to have a higher prevalence of agoraphobia, generalized anxiety and panic disorder.
  • Bullies/victims were at increased risk of young adult depression, panic disorder, agoraphobia (female only), and suicidality (males only).
  • Bullies were at risk for antisocial personality disorder only. 

Social rejection resulting from bullying is the subject of a new documentary

Today we happened upon a new film documentary REJECT. The film’s director, Ruth Thomas-Suh offers the following information:

At the essence of this film is the idea that social rejection has a profound impact on human life. We on the film team believe that REJECT will come at a time when there is an urgent need in our society to address this—in our homes, in our schools, in the workplace and various institutions. In one of our expert’s words, “We live in a society where many are in physical pain resulting from experiences of rejection. With shared understanding this can be changed, and we can move forward.” REJECT is for parents, doctors, teachers, coaches, school administrators, organizations that train teachers, mental health professionals, clergy, counselors (camp, after-school, academic, etc.), juvenile judges, and many others—in other words, anyone who holds power over others, and holds the power to model acceptance or inflict rejection.

You can see the trailer here.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

If you are interested in having a community screening of REJECT, you can contact the producers

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