Bullying is an Epedemic

Bullying is an epidemic. It is rampant, widespread, pervasive and the effects can be catastrophic. It occurs in our communities, in our schools – and sadly – even in our homes. Bullying statistics are staggering, scary and merit serious consideration and immediate action. Consider the following:

Facts and Statistics

  • 90% of students in grades 4-8 report have been harrased or bullied.
  • 28% of students in grades 6-12 experience bullying.2
  • 20% of students in grates 9-12 experience bullying. (stopbullying.gov)
  • In grades 6-12, 9% of students have experienced cyberbulling.2
  • Over 160,000 kids refuse to go to school each day for fear of being bullied. (Nation Education Association)
  • 70.6% of students report having witnessed bullying in their school–and over 71% say bullying is a problem.
  • Over 10% of students who drop out of school do so due to being bullied repeatedly.
  • Each month 282,000 students are physically assaulted in some way in secondary schools throughout the United States–and the number is growing.
  • Statistics suggest that revenge [due to bullying] is the number one motivator for school shootings in the U.S.
  • 86% of students surveyed said, “other kids picking on them, making fun of them or bullying them” is the number one reason that teenagers turn to lethal violence at school.
  • Nearly 75% of school shootings have been linked to harrasment and bullying.
  • 87% of students surveyed report that bullying is the primary motivator school shootings.
  • 64% of students who are bullied do not report it. (Petrosina, Guckenburg, Devoe and Hanson 2010)

2National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics

Types of Bullying

When most people think about bullying they envision some kind of physical intimidation. However, bullying can take on many forms which are just as emotionally and psychologically damaging as physical intimidation and harassment. There are four general forms of bullying. These include physical, verbal, social, & cyberbullying.

Where Does Bullying Occur?

The majority of bullying occurs at school, outside on school grounds during recess or after school, and on the school bus – or anywhere else students interact unsupervised. Bullying may also occur at home between siblings or in the community where kids congregate. Cyberbullying takes place online and via digital communication devices.

According to one statistically significant study, middle school age students experienced bullying on school grounds in the following locations:*

  • classroom (29.3%)
  • hallway or lockers (29%)
  • lunch room/cafeteria (23.4%)
  • gymnasium (19.5%)
  • bathroom (12.2%)
  • recess playground (6.2%)

* Bradshaw, C.P. (2007). Bullying and peer victimization at school: Perceptual differences between students and school staff. 36(3), 361-382.

What Can We Do To Make Kids Safer?

Dealing with feelings of school safety, and specifically addressing school bullying, requires a multi-pronged approach. One of the first steps in preventing bullying is teaching students about it and discussing what their rights are at the school. There are multiple ways to do this. The internet and library can be used by students to research bullying, what it looks like, how to prevent it, and how to respond. Of course, learning about bullying also requires parents, schools, and the community to step up.

At The MAT Center we strive to bring awareness to bullying and face it head on. We don’t run from this epidemic. We equip our kids to face this epidemic through the use of role playing, learning to read and interpret body language, communication skills, and if necessary, taking it to the mat.

Bullying should never be taken lightly. While we’ve made great strides against bullying — bullying policies have been implemented by schools and the government — we need to, as a community, prepare and educate our children on how to deal with this serious issue. We believe, only through education can we truly make a difference.

*Special thanks to Education Corner for sharing this valuable information!

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