believeBullying, ridicule, name-calling, intolerance, bias…

Whatever it’s called in a given situation, the wounds do not heal easily, or, sometimes, ever. A national epidemic of such behavior—by both adults and children—necessitates a broad scale intervention by teachers, families, coaches, religious leaders, and all who work with children. Simply stated, too many of our children, from every walk of life, live in serious emotional pain every single day. We must intervene. Their future, and ours, depends upon it.

Stopbullying.gov and Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center offer well-developed summaries of statistics related to bullying overall. Here are just a few important data points:

  • 160,000 children in America stay home from school each day because they are afraid to endure yet another day of bullying or verbal and physical abuse from their peers.
  • 22% of teenagers in a national study of adolescents reported being bullied or victimized.
  • The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students were looks (55%), body shape (37%), and race (16%).
  • Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression. Students who engage in bullying behavior are at increased risk for academic problems, substance use, and violent behavior later in adolescence and adulthood.
  • Approximately 30% of young people admit to bullying others in surveys and 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools. 70.4% of school staff members have seen bullying.
  • 81.9% of students who identify as LGBTQ were bullied in the last year based on their sexual orientation.
  • School-based bullying prevention programs, like Don’t Laugh at Me, may decrease bullying by as much as 25%