Did you know that 1 in 7 students in K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying? Statistics show that bullying in schools is on the rise in schools. It is estimated that every day 160,000 children miss school out of fear of being attacked or intimidated by other classmates? 1 in 10 students drop out of school because of bullying. It has also been found that students who are bullied are 2 to 9 times more likely to commit suicide than students who are not bullied.

Black out Bullying - Governor's Youth Council in MA Image: Deval Patrick via Flickr

Black out Bullying – Governor’s Youth Council in MA
Image: Michaela Finnegan / Governor’s Office  via Flickr

When people think about bullying in schools, they often picture students pushing, shoving, and fighting. But these images do not fully capture what is really going on in schools. There are actually different types of bullying:

  • Verbal- Verbal bullying includes name-calling, insults, and jokes about one’s race, gender, or orientation. Verbal bullying also includes teasing and threats.
  • Physical- Physical bullying includes hitting, pushing, shoving, punching etc. It also involves spitting and stealing or damaging someone’s personal items.
  • Indirect/Social- Indirect or social bullying involves spreading bad things about someone, making up and spreading nasty rumors, and being ignored or excluded.
  • Cyber bullying- With technological advancements, bullying has taken on a whole new level. Individuals can now be targeted through the following:
    • Text messages
    • Emails
    • IM or chat room bullying
    • Websites
    • Phone calls
    • Even through photos or video clips

What can kids do to help end bullying? Here are some things you can teach your students in order for them to help end bullying in their school:

  • Treat others with respect.
  • Think before you act.
  • Apologize to someone if you think you have bullied him or her before.
  • Stand up to others who are bullied
    • Be kind and friendly to the person being bullied. Try to include them by inviting them to lunch, hangout with them at recess, or just talk to them. Nobody likes to feel alone.
    • If you see bullying happening, tell an adult you can trust.

What teachers and administrators can do to end bullying:

  • Know what bullying looks like
  • Be observant- Bullying often happens out of sight in areas like the bathroom, the playground, and the bus. Remember, bullying even happens via mobile phones and computers.
  • Inform your students that telling an adult is not the same as tattling.
  • Inform and include students and their parents in your school’s anti-bullying program.
  • Talk about the seriousness of bullying, how it is not acceptable behavior, and that bullying will have consequences.