The Forum For Equality is rebuilding our Safer Schools Coalition in advance of the 2012 Louisiana State Legislative session. We intend to reintroduce an anti-bully bill and are asking interested partners to contact the Managing Director, Sarah Jane Brady, for ways you can get involved. We are also seeking folks who will share their stories with elected officials, either in testimony or in visits with your representatives. Please contact her at 504.569.9156 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exactly how big of a problem is bullying? And how does bullying differ for kids depending on gender, appearance, or ability?
1. Nearly 1 in 3 students is involved in bullying.
It’s estimated that nearly 30% – or 5.7 million children – are involved in bullying, as victims, perpetrators, or both. Studies have found that 15 to 25% of students in the U.S. are bullied, and 15 to 20% bully others.
2. While school violence as a whole is declining, bullying behaviors have increased by 5%.
Over the past few years, school violence has declined by 4%. That doesn’t mean that schools are safe havens, however. Bullying behavior increased by 5% between 1999 and 2001. Also, 86% of public schools in 2005-6 reported one or more incidents of violence or theft.
3. Kids who are obese, gay, or have disabilities are up to 63% more likely to be bullied than other children.
Studies have shown that obese children are 63% more likely to be targets of bullying. Gay youth are also significantly more likely to be bullied, with lesbians experiencing bullying at 3 times the rate of other youth.
Kids with learning disabilities, speech impediments, ADHD, and medical conditions that affect their appearance (such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and spina bifida) are also at higher risk of being bullied. One study found that 83% of adults who stuttered when they were kids reported they had been teased or bullied for it.
4. Boys are more likely than girls to bully others.
According to studies, boys are more likely than girls to report that they bully others. Boys are also usually only bullied by other boys, while girls report being bullied by both boys and girls.
5. Boys and girls get bullied in different ways.
The most frequent type of bullying experienced by both boys and girls is verbal bullying. But that’s where the similarities end. Boys are far more likely to be hit, slapped, pushed, or be exposed to other types of physical bullying. Girls, on the other hand, are at higher risk for being socially excluded, having rumors spread about them, or being targeted with sexual comments.