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New Study: Too Many Florida Girls in Crisis

Tom Flanigan

New statewide data shows many young girls in Florida do not have happy lives. The findings, compiled by the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center and the Children’s Campaign, were presented at a Tallahassee news conference on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Policy Center Researcher Vanessa Patino Lydia said a surprising number of girls in Florida feel unsafe, have been bullied or even sexually assaulted and are depressed.

“What didn’t surprise me is that girls who don’t feel safe and who don’t have access to a parent or a teacher that they experienced even greater sadness, hopelessness, more substance abuse and bullying and more likely to be suspended,” she told the reporters gathered at the Florida Press Center. Children’s Campaign President Roy Miller said the next step is to get more location-specific data.

“And we’re going to try and find what is going on in each community and what each community can do. But also collectively what we can do at the state policy level.”

Even though most girls in Florida are doing well, the survey partners insist more needs to be done to help those girls whose lives are troubled.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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