CDC: 20 percent of US students involved in bullying

CDC: 20 percent of US students involved in bullying

CDC: 20 percent of US students involved in bullying

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by Michelle Franzen / NBC News Channel

WCNC.com

Posted on April 21, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Family members say Paige Moravetz and Haylee Fentress were best friends, ever since Haylee moved to Minnesota last year.

Last weekend, in an apparent suicide pact, the 14-year-olds took their own lives at a sleepover.

That after Haylee called herself a victim of school bullying.

They are the latest cases of suicides possibly linked to bullying.

In Massachusetts last year, the high-profile suicide of Phoebe Prince prompted state leaders to pass anti-bullying legislation and pushed the issue in the national spotlight.

Now the Centers for Disease Control is releasing results of a 2009 health survey conducted by Massachusetts health officials.

It found 30 percent of high school and 40 percent of middle school students in Massachusetts admitted to being involved in or affected by bullying.

Nationwide, the CDC says that figure is 20 percent.

What experts don't know is what might make kids and teens more at risk to bully or harm themselves.

In recent weeks, Haylee hinted to a relative she was a victim of bullying by other students at Marshall Middle School.

Possible signs family members say, but now even more questions.

"I don't believe or know that we'll ever have a definite answer,” said Patrick Martin, Haylee’s cousin.

So far Marshall School officials are not addressing the reports of bullying.

But counselors are on hand to help students deal with their grief.

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