School And Bullying

Bullying is unwelcome, violent behavior between school-age children involving real or perceived imbalances of power.

Most school aged children are exposed to bullying of some sort because of an imbalance in power and influence balances so prevalent in relationships and peer groups of young people.

Exposure to violent behaviors at home, or to overly restrictive environments, makes children more susceptible to bullying at school. Bullying in schools can sometimes stem from harsh parenting practices or bullying that is reasonable at home.

Violence and bullying by teachers or other students can cause children and teens to be scared to attend school, and can hinder their ability to focus in classes or engage in school activities.

Research shows that bullying and harassment at school increases during late childhood and peaks in early adolescence, particularly in middle school, and usually occurs in unstructured settings, such as cafeterias, hallways, and playgrounds during recess.

In the U.S., a 2013 national survey found 20% of middle school students had been bullied on school property within the last year, 15% of students had been electronically bullied, and 8% of students aged 12-18 reported experiencing persistent weekly bullying.

Thirteen percent of students ages 6 to 10 were bullied, 10 percent reported being victims, and another six percent were victims-bullies.8 This survey excluded students at elementary levels (who typically experience higher levels of bullying) and did not restrict bullying to school grounds.

In a nationally representative study combining data on bullying in schools and out, 25 percent of students who were victims of bullying reported being made fun of for their race or religion (8 percent of these victims were often made fun of for it).24 The study also found that Black youth reported being bullied less frequently than Hispanic and White peers.

U.S. students who are gay, bisexual, or transgender are five times more likely to be out of school, as American students who are gay experience feelings of insecurity following bullying about their sexual orientation.

Adults are targeted for bullying at roughly the same rates that children are targeted at in schools, and this is also found in teachers and in senior housing communities. Schools with positive climates promote healthy development, whereas a negative climate at school is associated with higher rates of bullying, aggression, victimization, and feeling unsafe.

Fortunately, there are actions students and school personnel can take to prevent bullying and harassment at school, and create a more positive school climate. When parents, teachers, and administrators develop a renewed understanding of the complicated roots of bullying, and embrace new strategies to combat it, schools can be leaders.

Bullying in schools is a difficult problem to solve, but it can be stopped when schools, parents, and students are committed to stopping the behavior through prevention and intervention. Reports of bullying will rise in schools that have bullying programs, as students will be more hopeful about their ability to step in, as well as schools capacity to change things.

Bullying is a serious problem, one that requires sustained, sustained efforts on your part to stay out of the schools.