BULLYING

If you are being bullied, call the No Bully Help Hotline at 1-866-488-7386. 

The information provided on this page is to provide helpful links for you. It is in no way is an attempt to solicit, promote or diagnose.

What Is Bullying

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

  • An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.

  • Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

 

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

STATISTICS

  • In the US, 1 in 5 students ages 12-18 have been bullied during the school year.

  • Approximately 160,000 teens have skipped school because of bullying. Students who reported that they were frequently bullied scored lower in reading, mathematics, and science than their peers who reported that they were never or rarely bullied.

  • The most commonly reported type of bullying is verbal harassment (79%), followed by social harassment (50%), physical bullying (29%), and cyberbullying (25%).

  • Labeling an incident as bullying can be important because it influences whether students tell an adult, as well as how adults respond to the student’s report.

  • More than half of bullying situations (57%) stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied.

      6th-grade students experience the most bullying (31%).

  • 70% of school staff have seen bullying. 62% witnessed bullying two or more times in the last month, and 41% witness bullying once a week or more.

  • Students are less likely to report bullying as they get older. Only 39% of high schoolers notified an adult of bullying.

  • 42% percent of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that the bullying was related to at least one of the following characteristics: physical appearance (30%), race (10%), gender (8%), disability (7%), ethnicity (7%), religion (5%), and sexual orientation (4%).

  • Over half of students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied believed their bullies had the ability to influence what other students thought of them. 

 

Types of Bullying 

  • Verbal bullying is saying or writing insensitive things. Verbal bullying includes:

    • Teasing

    • Name-calling

    • Inappropriate sexual comments

    • Taunting

    • Threatening to cause harm

  • Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes: THIS IS THE SINGLE most damaging of bullying! There are no filters from any Social Media Company and most parents are unaware of what their child is posting, which in itself is scary!

    • Leaving someone out on purpose

    • Telling other children not to be friends with someone

    • Spreading rumors about someone

    • Embarrassing someone in public

  • Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:

    • Hitting/kicking/pinching

    • Spitting

    • Tripping/pushing

    • Taking or breaking someone’s things

    • Making mean or rude hand gestures

Where and When Bullying Happens

Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen traveling to or from school, in the youth’s neighborhood, or on the Internet.

Frequency of Bullying

There are two sources of federally collected data on youth bullying:

  • The 2015 School Crime Supplement - PDF (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that, nationwide, about 21% of students ages 12-18 experienced bullying.

  • The 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that, nationwide, 19% of students in grades 9–12 report being bullied on school property in the 12 months preceding the survey.