It is a sad fact that bullying, particularly in schools, is prevalent not just in the USA, but also throughout the world. I know this only too well, as I was unfortunate enough to suffer through 8 years of it as I was growing up. Despite what a minority of people believe, any form of bullying can cause emotional problems, both at that time and later in life. Not only do the victims suffer, but some of the bullies do too. It is not simply ‘a part of growing up’, but something that needs to be stopped. With everyone working together, it can be. Read more about Bullying Statistics in the USA.
What is bullying?
Before learning about Bullying Statistics in the USA, One must know that Bullying is frequently about power, either real or perceived, being used aggressively and repeatedly to control or harm others. Repeatedly in this case can mean happening more than once, or have the potential to happen more than once. The power imbalances can be, but are not limited to, physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or even popularity variances.
Bullying includes such actions as threatening behavior, physical or verbal attacks, spreading rumors, or deliberately excluding someone from a group or activity. There is an overlap between bullying and harassment, with harassment being considered the lesser crime, but the reality is harassment is a form of bullying, if the victim feels belittled or threatened by it.
Bullying Statistics in the USA
We would be very surprised if the following bullying statistics do not evoke an emotional response from you. It is horrifying to us that so many of our children go through this every day, in an environment where they should feel safe. Even worse, these are just the reported statistics. Not all cases are reported, because many students feel that nothing can be done, so the true figures would be even more disturbing.
- 1 in 4 students have reported being bullied, from elementary to high school.
- LGBT students experience worse bullying, with 86% reporting incidents.
- Over 160,000 students stay home from school on any given day because they are afraid of being bullied.
- More than 280,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools every month.
- Every 7 minutes on the playground, a child is bullied. In 85% of the cases there is no intervention, with adult intervention only occurring in about ¼ of these other cases.
- Victims of bullying are more than twice as likely to consider suicide than students who are not. Some figures put this at nine times as likely.
- 75% of school shooting incidents have been linked to bullying.
- Nearly 70% of students feel that schools are ineffective at dealing with bullying, and that it the case with all adult help.
- At least 20% of students admit performing actions that could be taken as bullying.
These figures are close to those collected by federal agencies, which show over the years the amount of bullying does not vary too widely.
- 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (CDC) showed 20% of students experienced bullying in grades 9-12
- 2008-09 School Crime Suppliment (NCES) showed 28% of students experienced bullying in grades 6-12
Children do not only have to deal with bullying at school, but also online. The Internet has revolutionized social communication and interaction, and while much of it is benign, there are those who use the technology to cause emotional harm
- 1 in 3 children have been threatened while online. 20% have reported more than one incident.
- 53% of children have experienced mean or hurtful things online, with over 40% saying it has happened more than once.
- Girls are twice as likely as to be victims of cyber bullying, but also twice as likely to be the perpetrator.
- 70% of children report seeing online bullying, and that it is a serious problem.
- High cellphone usage makes cyber bullying easier.
Even when children graduate from school and enter the adult world, bullying can still affect them. While the line between harassment and bullying can be narrow, or even overlap, those experiencing it still feel similar effects, be it from work superiors or peers. These adult bullies can continue to bullying people in many of the same ways as happened to children, with a higher incidence of sexual harassment than children experience.