In Bullying Tips

How to Conduct a Bullying Survey

bullying survey

Global efforts to stop bullying continue to address the problem. One way for students and teachers to raise awareness about anti bullying campaigns is to conduct a survey on bullying. Bullying survey questions help identify the problems with bullying and encourage students to express their opinions openly and honestly. Teachers use a survey about bullying for in-classroom discussions.

A bullying survey for students that has the design, which reveals different points of view is the best kind of school bullying survey. Bully survey questions are informative when they help student understand three things:

  1. What it feels like to be a bully;
  2. What it feel likes to be bullied, and;
  3. How all students have a responsibility to report any bullying that occurs.

Students, teachers, and parents, learn from the answers given to a bullying survey. Everyone finds out where there is a need for additional efforts to eliminate bullying.

Bullying Survey Design

Surveys may focus on a specific type of bullying behavior such as a cyber bullying survey or they can focus on a specific age group such as a middle school bullying survey. The best survey designs include thought-provoking open-ended questions that allow students to express their own ideas. This expression in ways they feel will not be judged, let’s them answer the questions honestly.

An example of a closed-ended question is:

Have you experienced bullying? Yes or No

An example of an open-ended question is:

Where have you experienced bullying or seen bullying? ______________

The answers to the open-ended questions may provide more insight. They can reveal places where bullying occurs, such as on the staircases, in certain parts of the hallways, or other areas where teachers and school officials are not aware of the bullying activity that occurs.


One way to guarantee more openness in the answers to the survey questions is to let the students take the survey anonymously. An example of a simple anonymous survey is offered by the Bullying Awareness Week organization. This simple survey only seeks to get a feeling for the extent of bullying that is occurring, who is doing it, and where bullying is prevalent in the community.

Whether the survey is anonymous or not is a matter of logistical choice. Nevertheless, all students should participate in the survey to avoid unbalanced tabulations of the responses.

Using Bullying Surveys as a Teaching Tool

More advanced survey techniques allow deeper exploration of the subject matter. After the surveys are taken, the answers are tabulated to maintain anonymity and the percentage totals are discussed as well as any particular insights the teachers and school administration can be highlighted from the answers given.

Ditch the Label is UK-based non-profit group that provides an annual report on the bullying survey they do at schools and colleges in the UK. They also conducted a global cyber bullying survey in 2013, which had over 10,000 survey participants.

Teaching Tolerance has a bullying survey combined with classroom suggestions about how teachers can use the results of the study. This eight-question survey requires a reading level equivalent to second grade, so for younger students the questions need to be read aloud. Students answer the questions by using a blue slip of paper to answer “Yes” and a red slip of paper to answer ”No.”

After the survey is done, the teacher tabulates the blue versus red answers and uses further discussion questions to help students explore what the answers given by the students mean and to get the students to feel comfortable expressing their feelings about bullying.

This method is effective, even with very young students, because children need help in understanding what bullying is, and what they can do about bullying. Children who are bullied learn that they are not alone, they are not at fault for causing the bullying, and it helps to know if others had similar experiences. Children who are bullies learn that such behavior is anti-social, unacceptable, and the expectation is that they should stop bullying. Children who are innocent bystanders also learn what to do to when they see bullying.

By using simple surveys about bullying, children learn how to stop bullying or when to seek assistance from a teacher or other adult.

Getting Parents Involved

In some school districts, the bullying problem is being managed by also surveying parents about any bullying behaviors that the parents are aware of happening. An example of a survey that was sent home with students, for their parents to fill out and return, comes from the Missouri Education Department. These surveys are confidential and voluntary. Parents are encouraged to participate for the safety of their own children as well as for others.

The bullying surveys for parents to complete help school administrators learn more about bullying that occurs outside of the school campus, such as when the children are on their way to and from school. It also helps identify problems with cyber bullying, which can happen at any time in any place where the child has access to electronic media.


A bullying survey is an effective method that is useful to collect information. It serves as a teaching tool to help children understand bullying and what to do about it. A bullying survey, given on a regular basis, demonstrates the results of anti bullying campaigns, highlights needed improvements, and shows problems that continue to exist.

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