In 2018, seven of the 11 public high schools in Jefferson County participated in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, including Lake Mills High School. Of the seven schools six of them met or exceeded the 50% minimum school-level response rate, which was one criterion for generating county-level data. The response rate represents 71% of public high school students in the county.

Preliminary Jefferson County results:

Seat belt use

Most of the time or always wear a seat belt: 89%

Drinking and driving

Student drivers who drove after drinking (past 30 days): 5%

Texting and driving

Drivers who texted or emailed while driving (past 30 days): 46%

School safety

Most of the time or always feel safe at school: 82%

Agree or strongly agree that violence is a problem at their school: 17%

In a fight at school and/or threatened with a weapon at school: 14% overall, 9% female, 18% male

Drugs at school

Were offered, sold or given drugs on school property in the past 12 months: 12%

Attended school under the influence of alcohol or drugs (past 12 months): 10%

Bullying

Experienced bullying at school during the past 12 months: 25% overall, 29% female, 22% male

Bullied online: 19% overall, 24% female, 14% male

Agree or strongly agree bullying is a problem at their school: 43% overall, 54% female, 32% male

Mental health

Experienced significant problems with anxiety: 49% overall, 63% female, 35% male

Experienced prolonged, disruptive sadness: 29% overall, 40% female, 19% male

Intentionally self-harmed without intending to die: 18% overall, 25% female, 11% male

Seriously considered suicide: 16% overall, 21% female, 12% male

Made a plan for a suicide attempt: 12% overall, 16% female, 9% male

Sexual Behavior

Percent who have ever had sexual intercourse: 33% overall, 33% female, male 34% 9th grade 13%, 12th grade 57%

Percent who had sexual intercourse in the past 3 months: 24% overall, 25% female, 24% male, 8% 9th grade, 44% 12th grade

Vaping

Used vaping products in the past 30 days: 20% overall, 13% 9th grade, 26% 12th grade

Ever tried vaping: 44% overall, 34% 9th grade, 51% 12th grade

Used cigarettes, chew, cigars or cigarillos in the past 30 days: 10% overall, 6% 9th grade, 15% 12th grade

Percentage of vapers or other tobacco users who tried to quit in the past 12 months: 40% overall

Drinking

Had at least one drink in the past 30 days: 33% overall, 24% 9th grade, 42% 12th grade

Drugs

Used marijuana in the past 30 days: 16%

Misused over-the-counter and/or prescription pain medicines: 12%

Screentime

Spent three or more hours a day on phone, Xbox or other device: 43%

Use technology between midnight at 5 a.m. on school nights: 48%

Sent, received or shared nude photos or sexual images (past 30 days): 24%

Physical health and nutrition

Reported sleeping 8 or more hours per night: 27%

Reported sleeping 5 hours or fewer per night: 17%

Exercised zero days: 15%

Exercised 4-7 days in past week: 57% overall, 49% female, 64% male, 63% 9th grade, 52% 12th grade

Ate fruit every day (past 7 days): 42%

Ate vegetables every day (past 7 days): 39%

Drank plain water every day (past 7 days): 77%

Ate breakfast every day: 32%

Experienced sports-induced concussions (past 12 months): 14%

Asthma: 20%

Trauma and adversity

Experienced rape, sexual assault or intimate partner violence: 23% overall, 33% female, 14% male

Food Insecurity

Students who experienced hunger due to lack of food at home (past 30 days): 26% overall

Overall

The survey found a sense of belonging at school can dramatically influence how students feel about a number of factors. A 2019 article in the Journal Pediatrics showed that “school connectedness may have long-lasting protective effects across multiple health outcomes related to mental health, violence, sexual behavior, and substance use. Increasing both family and school connectedness during adolescence has the potential to promote overall health in adulthood.”

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