Bad Blood: Bullying by the Numbers
Bullying. It’s a topic that’s everywhere these days, but is it really as prevalent as the news makes it sound?
Yes it is. In fact, research shows that a majority of kids in middle school are bullied, and that the effects of bullying are lifelong.
Dr. F. Bradford Meyers, a Family Medicine physician at Dean Medical Group, says these somewhat surprising statistics highlight the negative impact bullying has on students and our community:
- 1 in 7 students in grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of a bully.
- 71 percent of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their schools.
- 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
- Those in lower grades are involved in twice as many “fights” as those in higher grades; however, there is a lower rate of violent crime in grade schools as in high schools.
- 15 percent of all school absenteeism is directly related to fears of some form of bullying.
- 90 percent of fourth through eighth grade students report being victims of bullying.
- Overall, American schools harbor approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million victims of bullying.
Beyond these startling statistics is the more frightening and concerning relationship between bullying and crime, homicide and school shootings:
- Among students, homicide perpetrators were more than twice as likely as homicide victims to have been victims of bullying.
- Bullying statistics note that revenge is the strongest motivation for school shootings.
- 87 percent of students state that shootings are motivated by a desire to “get back at those who have hurt them.”
- Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75 percent of school shooting incidents.
Dr. Meyers stresses that battling bullying is a job for everyone, not just teachers.
“We must intervene in order to work toward safer schools and more enriching learning environments for our patients and our children,” says Dr. Meyers.
How can you help? Here are four things parents, teachers and other adults can do:
- Learn to recognize the signs of bullying
- Find out what is happening with the child without worsening the situation
- Take steps to prevent bullying.
- Learn what to do when faced with an acute bullying situation.
With proper education, it is possible to make a positive impact on the lives of many children.
**Select statistics taken from The National Education Association and the online resource Make Beats Not Beatdowns.