Fewer Students Bullied at School in 2013, Survey Finds
WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) — Students across the country reported fewer incidents of bullying in 2013, marking the first notable decline in bullying rates since the federal government began collecting data in 2005, a new report said
In a survey of students ages 12 to 18, 22 percent, or 1 in every 5 students in middle and high schools, faced bullying at school in 2013. A majority happened in hallways or stairwells and in the classrooms, according to data released Friday by the National Center on Education Statistics, which performs research for the U.S. Department of Education. That’s down from 28 percent reported in 2011.
“The report brings welcome news,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said. “Parents, teachers, health providers, community members and young people are clearly making a difference by taking action and sending the message that bullying is not acceptable. We will continue to do our part at HHS to help ensure every child has the opportunity to live, learn and grow in a community free of bullying.”
Federal officials said bullying can happen in three ways: physical, social or verbal. Those who are bullied are more likely to struggle in class and skip school, abuse drugs and alcohol, become depressed and are at a higher risk for suicide.
— About 24 percent of girls say they were bullied, compared to 20 percent of boys.
— About 24 percent of white students say they were bullied. Twenty percent of black students, 19 percent of Hispanic students and 9 percent of Asian students report being bullied.
— Nine percent of girls and 5 percent of boys say they were cyberbullied either in or outside school. Most of it occurred in the form of text messages.
Since 2010, the U.S. Education Department has held four prevention summits, among other initiatives. In 2011, President Barack Obama held the first bullying-prevention conference.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan lauded the nationwide efforts to reduce bullying, but said more work can be done.
“Even though we’ve come a long way over the past few years in educating the public about the health and educational impacts that bullying can have on students, we still have more work to do to ensure the safety of our nation’s children,” he said.