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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2005

Indicator 12:
Bullying at School

In 2003, 7 percent of students ages 12-18 reported that they had been bullied at school during the last 6 months. The percentage of students who reported being bullied increased between 1999 and 2001, but no difference was detected between 2001 and 2003.

Bullying can contribute to an environment of fear and intimidation in schools (Carney, Hazler, and Higgins 2002; Ericson 2001). In the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, students ages 12-18 were asked if they had been bullied (for example, picked on or made to do things they did not want to do) at school during the previous 6 months. In recent years, fewer than 1 in 10 students reported being bullied at school during the last 6 months. Although the percentage who had been bullied increased from 5 percent in 1999 to 8 percent in 2001, no difference was detected between 2001 and 2003 (figure 12.1 and table 12.1). In 2003, 7 percent of students reported that they had been bullied at school.

In 2003, White students were more likely than Hispanic students to report being bullied (8 vs. 6 percent; table 12.1). No other differences were detected in the percentage of students who reported that they had been bullied according to students’ race/ethnicity or sex.

Grade level was inversely related to students’ likelihood of being bullied: as grade level increased, students' likelihood of being bullied decreased (figure 12.2 and table 12.1). For example, in 2003, 14 percent of 6th-graders, 7 percent of 9th-graders, and 2 percent of 12th-graders reported that they had been bullied at school.

In 2003, public school students were more likely to report being bullied than private school students (7 vs. 5 percent). In the same year, rural students were more likely than their urban and suburban counterparts to report being bullied (10 percent of rural students vs. 7 percent each of urban and suburban students).

Figure 12.1. Percentage of students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied at school during the previous 6 months, by sex: 1999, 2001, and 2003

Percentage of students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied at school during the previous 6 months, by sex: 1999, 2001, and 2003

NOTE: In the 1999 survey, “at school” was defined as in the school building, on the school grounds, or on a school bus. In the 2001 and 2003 surveys, “at school” was defined as in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, or going to and from school. See appendix A for more information.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 1999, 2001, and 2003.
Figure 12.2. Percentage of students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied at school during the previous 6 months, by grade and school sector: 2003

Percentage of students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied at school during the previous 6 months, by grade and school sector: 2003

NOTE: “At school” was defined as in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, or going to and from school.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 2003.
View Table 12.1 View Table 12.1


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