The Variety and Severity of Bullying in American Schools

The Variety and Severity of Bullying in American Schools


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Bullying is becoming more and more common in American schools, as the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported in 2013. Without understanding the severity of the problem, it will be difficult to really start addressing it.


In fact, in their study, NCES did not just look at how often bullying occurs, but as to what they kind of bullying exists, from something like being called names to being injured in more physical attacks. They also wanted to understand who normally fall victim, whether they are girls or boys, and which age and racial group.


Here are some points from their findings:


First of all, 22 percent of students between the ages of 12 and 18 have actually stated that they were bullied during the last school year. Of these 22 percent, 14 percents said that they were either made fun of, insulted or called names. 13 percent, on the other hand, were the victims of rumormongering, 4 percent were actually threatened that they will be harmed. 2 percent of students stated that their bullies made them do things against their will, and 4 percent were excluded on purpose from activities. 2 percent experienced having their things damaged or destroyed, while 6 percent said that they were forcefully pushed or shoved, tripped and even spit on. Of the last group, 21 percent experienced injury because of the incident. There were also a considerable number of children who reported experiencing more than one type of bullying, hence the numbers do not sum up to the reported overall totals.


When it comes to the profile of students who experienced bullying, more girls experienced bullying at school than boys, with 24 percent of girls vs. 19 percent of boys being victims. Girls are also more likely than boys (15 vs. 13 percent) to experienced being made fun of, insulted or being called names. They also experienced being targeted by rumors, with 17 percent of girls vs. 10 percent of boys experiencing this. They also were more likely to be excluded from activities (5 vs. 4 percent). However, boys are more likely to experience physical attacks like pushing, shoving, tripping or being spit on, with 7 percent of boys being victimized vs. 5 percent of girls.


When it comes to race, the majority of bullying victims are still white kids (with 24 percent), with Hispanic kids coming at second place, with 19 percent. Asian students, on the other hand, report at 9 percent. 20 percent of African-American students, on the other hand, were victims of bullying in 2013.


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NCES also found out that children in the 6th through 11th Grades were more likely to be bullied, with 28 percent of 6th graders, for 7th graders 26 percent, for 8th graders 22 percent, for 9th graders 23 percent, for 10th graders 19 percent and for 11th graders 20 percent. On the other hand, only 14 percent of those in 12thGrade reported experiencing bullying in school.


Cyberbullying is also emerging as a form of bullying experienced by students, with 7 percent of students reporting instances in 2013.


These numbers show that children of various ages and profiles are likely to experience bullying ranging from verbal to physical to even cyberbullying. This proves that schools and educators should work to protect all students from this trend becoming even worse.