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Bullying Statistics Every K-12 Teacher, Parent and Student Should Know

September 30th, 2019 by Guest Communications


Written by: Amy Rock, Campus Safety Senior Editor

A 2016 study conducted by Dr. Justin Patchin and Dr. Sameer Hinduja surveyed a nationally-representative sample of 5,700 middle and high school students ages 12-17 from July through October. The results showed that the percentage of students who have experienced cyberbullying at some point in their lifetime has nearly doubled from 18% in 2007 to almost 34% in 2016.

The researchers asked students what kind of bullying they had endured and what kind of bullying they had done to someone else in the previous 30 days. Below are two charts of those findings.

The researchers also collected data on the students’ weekly use of technology to get a representation of its prevalence in their lives and the different potential outlets for bullying. Below is a chart of the study’s findings.

The popularity of cell phones and other technologies allow students to use social media both in school and at home, making cyberbullying an around-the-clock occurrence. Because of this, both parents and teachers can play an integral role in effectively addressing online safety issues.

Clay Cranford, the deputy sheriff for the Orange County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Department, who is an expert on cybersecurity for children, spoke with us at the 2016 Campus Safety Conference about how parents and teachers can help students stay safe online. Check out the video here.

Bullying Statistics Surrounding Minority Groups

People of all ages who are part of a minority group have long been singled out for their differences, making students who are part of a minority group more prone to bullying.

The National Center for Educational Statistics’ 2016 study we mentioned earlier found the most common reasons students reported being bullied are because of physical appearance, race and ethnicity, gender, disability, religion or sexual orientation.

According to PACER’S National Bullying Prevention Center, all ten U.S. studies that have been conducted on the connection between bullying and developmental disabilities have found children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers.

Here are some more significant findings from similar studies:

  • 60% of students with disabilities reported being bullied regularly compared with 25% of all students (British Journal of Learning Support, 2008).
  • 24.5% of elementary school students and 34.1%t of middle school students with disabilities reported being bullied, which is one to one and a half times the national average for students without disabilities (Benz et al., 2012).
  • In regards to types of disabilities, 35.3% of students with behavioral and emotional disorders, 33.9% of students with autism, 24.3% of students with intellectual disabilities, 20.8% of students with health impairments, and 19% of students with specific learning disabilities face high levels of bullying victimization (Rose et al., 2012).

Many recent studies have also looked at the bullying of students who identify as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) community.

Data from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which consists of results from 14,956 questionnaires from 144 schools between September 2016 and December 2017, shows students who identify as LGBTQ are at a significantly higher risk of being bullied. Some of the findings include:

  • More high school students who identify as part of the LGBTQ community report having been bullied on school property (33%) and cyberbullied (27.1%) in the past year than their heterosexual peers (17.1% and 13.3%, respectively).
  • More LGBTQ students (10%) than heterosexual students (6.1%) reported not going to school because of safety concerns.
  • Students who identified as “not sure” of their sexual orientation also reported a higher rate of bullying on school property (24.3%), cyberbullying (22%) and not going to school because of safety concerns (10.7%).

Another recent study, the 2013 National School Climate Survey, suggests bullying of students who identify as LGBTQ is even higher. The survey, which consisted of online responses from a total of 7,898 students in grades 6-12 during the 2012-2013 school year, found:

  • 74.1% were verbally bullied in the previous year
  • 36.2% were physically harassed
  • 16.5% were physically assaulted
  • 49% were cyberbullied
  • 55.5% felt unsafe at school
  • 30.3% missed at least one day at school because they felt unsafe

What Can We Do to Mitigate Bullying?

Numerous studies suggest bullying has serious lasting effects. One 2016 study on childhood bullying found more than four in 10 people who were bullied as children have been diagnosed with a mental health condition. Of that number, 44% blame their childhood bullying experiences for their conditions.

Not surprisingly, another 2016 study that regularly surveyed a group of 383 students from kindergarten through twelfth grade, found students who reported being bullied were less likely to do well academically.

Beginning the process of addressing the seriousness of bullying at your school or home can feel overwhelming, but there are plenty of free resources on bullying prevention.

Bullying Resources for Teachers

Here are some recommendations from on the steps to take to address bullying at your school.

Also available through is the “Bullying Prevention and Response Training and Continuing Education Online Program”. Find out more information here or watch the full presentation on YouTube.

Additionally, has a YouTube channel with short cartoons depicting bullying scenarios at school. Teachers, particularly those of younger students, can utilize these videos to start an open dialogue about bullying in the classroom. Check out one of the videos below.



Bullying Resources for Parents

Here is a resource on recognizing warning signs, what is and isn’t considered bullying, and much more. And here is another similar resource from the National Education Association.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also created an app for parents to “help you boost your children’s confidence, resilience, and build effective strategies for facing bullying”, according to its website. It includes conversation starters to help you begin discussions with your child/children about bullying, allows you to share successful bullying prevention strategies on social media, and much more. Find out more information on the KnowBullying app here or check out the video below.

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Bullying Resources for Students 

If you are a student and are being bullied or are witness to someone being bullied, here are some things you can do to help yourself and others.

PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center also has tons of resources for students, including two helpful websites, found here and here.


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