October is National Bullying Prevention Month, founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention.
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying includes making threats, spreading rumors, physical violence, verbal abuse and excluding peers from a group on purpose. Bullying also includes cyberbullying through text messages, emails or social media.
Here are some statistics on bullying from the National Center for Educational Statistics (2019):
One out of every five (20.2%) students report being bullied.
Of those students who reported being bullied, 13% were made fun of, called names, or insulted; 13% were the subject of rumors; 5% were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; and 5% were excluded from activities on purpose.
Reasons for bullying included physical appearance, race/ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation.
Among students ages 12 – 18 who reported being bullied at school, 15% were bullied online or by text.
Bullying can lead to higher rates of absenteeism for students being bullied as well as a decrease in grades. In 2019, the CDC reported these students have a higher risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties and dropping out of school.
Parents, school staff and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. Learn more about the prevention of bullying and state legislation on the issue at stopbullying.gov.
The STOMP Out Bullying™ HelpChat Line is a resource for youth, ages 12-18. https://www.stompoutbullying.org/helpchat