The U.S. Department of Education released the results of a 2013 survey on bullying. The results represent an improvement from 2011, but show that bullying is still a significant problem. In 2013, 22 percent of students aged 12-18 reported that they were bullied. In 2011, the number was 28 percent. The survey is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics and has been taken periodically since 2005. The percentage reporting bullying in 2013 was the lowest yet recorded
The fact that more than one out of every five students experienced bullying in 2013 is sad. The story was worse for female students, 24 percent reported being the victims of bullying. Bullying came in a number of forms, including traditional bullying behavior in bathrooms, locker rooms, buses and hallways and the latest forms of bullying through text messages and social media.
Bullying is not a harmless rite of passage that all schoolchildren must go through. The impact of bullying extends far beyond the classroom and can have a profound impact on the lives of the affected students and their families. Schools have a responsibility to protect students from harassment, abuse and other forms of bullying. When schools do not live up to that responsibility, it is important to take steps to hold them accountable for their failure.
Parents should be aware of the bullying and harassment policies of their children's schools. Cyber-bullying, despite not necessarily happening on school property, is still a form of bullying that must be addressed by school policy. If your son or daughter is the victim of bullying, you need to take action to ensure that the school board and administrators do what is necessary to address the situation.
Source: Capital Journal, "Feds: Fewest kids in 10 years say they are bullied in school, on web," by Associated Press, 15 May 2015