Hawaii’s school quality survey results for middle schoolers for the 2018-19 school year show that students feel mostly the same about school safety and school bullying, on average, as the year before.

In 2018-19, of the 27,607 middle schoolers who responded to a questionnaire, 64% recorded a positive response to the question of safety, the same percent as last year. A positive response by students means they either agreed or strongly agreed that they felt safe at school.

The response of middle school students to the question of whether they felt safe from the bullying behavior of other students was also about the same as the previous year.

In 2018-19, whose survey results came out in the summer, 24% of middle schoolers “strongly agreed” that they felt safe from peer bullying, another 26% “agreed,” while 22% “disagreed” or “strongly disagreed.”

Central Middle School front lawn. Central Middle School is a historic school building in Honolulu, Hawaii, built on the grounds the former palace of Princess Ruth Keelikōlani of Hawaii.
About 27,500 middle schoolers statewide responded to a 2018-19 school climate survey, including students at Oahu’s Central Middle School. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The school quality survey is administered every year by the Hawaii Department of Education to students at the elementary, middle and high school levels. It measures items like safety and well-being, school satisfaction and student engagement.

An earlier Civil Beat analysis of the survey results among Hawaii’s high schoolers found that the percentage of older kids who say they feel safe at school improved over the last decade.

At Middle Schools

Among traditional DOE middle schools in 2018-19, Kaimuki Middle had the highest proportion of students who strongly agreed they felt safe at school, or 46% of the students there.

Among charters where the total student body is over 100, Hawaii Technology Academy — which is a K-12 blended learning environment of virtual and in-class instruction — and Ka Waihona o ka Naauau Public Charter, a grade 3-12 school on Oahu’s Leeward coast, had more than half of their middle-schoolers strongly agreeing they felt safe at school.

Statewide, 28% of middle schoolers agreed they felt safe at school. King Intermediate, Moanalua Middle, Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate and Aiea Intermediate are among the DOE schools where students felt safest.

About 6% of DOE middle schoolers statewide strongly disagreed when asked whether they felt safe at their school.

But some schools had a much higher percentage of students concerned about their safety.  At Kohala Middle on the Big Island, 14% of its students strongly disagreed that they felt safe and at Kapaa Middle on Kauai, 12% strongly disagreed.

When it came to the issue of bullying, 26% of students statewide agreed they felt safe from peer bullying.

But a much higher percentage of students — more than 30% — felt safe from bullying at Voyager Public Charter, Innovations Public Charter and SEEQS: the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability, among charter schools, and at Moanalua Middle, among the traditional DOE schools.

Among DOE schools, 37% of middle schoolers at Jarrett Middle and 35% at Kaimuki Middle said they “strongly agreed” they felt safe from peer bullying, compared with the 24% statewide average.

And while 9% of middle schoolers strongly disagreed they felt safe from peer bullying, that percentage nearly doubled at Dole Middle and at Hana High & Elementary, according to Civil Beat’s analysis of the latest survey.

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