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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2008
NCES 2009-022
April 2009

Indicator 11: Bullying at School and Cyber-Bullying Anywhere

In 2007, about 32 percent of 12- to 18-year-old students reported having been bullied at school during the school year and 4 percent reported having been cyber-bullied.

Both bullying and being bullied at school are associated with key violence-related behaviors, including carrying weapons, fighting, and sustaining injuries from fighting (Nansel et al. 2003). In the 2007 School Crime Supplement32 to the National Crime Victimization Survey, students ages 12–18 were asked if they had been bullied at school during the school year.33

In 2007, about 32 percent of students reported having been bullied at school during the school year (figure 11.1 and table 11.1).34 Twenty-one percent of students said that they had experienced bullying that consisted of being made fun of; 18 percent reported being the subject of rumors; 11 percent said that they were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; 6 percent said they were threatened with harm; 5 percent said they were excluded from activities on purpose; and 4 percent each said that someone tried to make them do things they did not want to do and that their property was destroyed on purpose (figure 11.2 and table 11.1).

Of those students in 2007 who reported being bullied during the school year, 79 percent said that they were bullied inside the school, 23 percent said that they were bullied outside on school grounds, 8 percent said they were bullied on the school bus, and 4 percent said they were bullied somewhere else (figure 11.3 and table 11.2). Nine percent of all students reported that they had suffered injuries as a result of being pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on. Of these students who had been bullied, 63 percent said that they had been bullied once or twice during the school year, 21 percent had experienced bullying once or twice a month, 10 percent reported being bullied once or twice a week, and 7 percent said that they had been bullied almost daily (figure 11.4 and table 11.3). Thirty-six percent of students who were bullied notified a teacher or another adult at school about the event(s).

In 2007, about 4 percent of students reported having been cyber-bullied35 anywhere (on or off school property) during the school year (figure 11.1 and table 11.1). Two percent of students said that they had experienced cyber-bullying that consisted of another student posting hurtful information about them on the Internet; and 2 percent of students reported unwanted contact, including being threatened or insulted, via instant messaging by another student during the school year (figure 11.2 and table 11.1).

Of the students in 2007 who reported cyber-bullying during the school year, 73 percent said it had occurred once or twice during that period, 21 percent said it had occurred once or twice a month, and 5 percent said it had occurred once or twice a week (figure 11.4 and table 11.3). Thirty percent of students who were cyber-bullied notified a teacher or another adult at school about the event(s).

Student reports of bullying and cyber-bullying varied by student characteristics. A greater percentage of female than male students reported being bullied at school and cyber-bullied anywhere during the school year (figure 11.1 and table 11.1). In 2007, 33 percent of female students reported being bullied at school compared to 30 percent of male students. Five percent of female students reported being cyber-bullied anywhere compared to 2 percent of male students. A higher percentage of White students (34 percent) reported being bullied at school in 2007 than Hispanic students (27 percent). In addition, a higher percentage of White students (34 percent) reported being bullied at school than Asian students (18 percent).

This indicator has been updated to include 2007 data. For more information: Tables 11.1, 11.2, and 11.3 and DeVoe and Kaffenberger (2005).

32 In 2007, the unit response rate for this survey did not meet NCES statistical standards; therefore, interpret the data with caution. For more information, please see appendix A PDF File (301 KB).
33 "At school" includes the school building, on school property, on a school bus, or going to and from school.
34 Bullying includes being made fun of; being the subject of rumors; being threatened with harm; being pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; being pressured into doing things did not want to do; excluded; and having property destroyed on purpose.
35 Cyber-bullying includes students who responded that another student posted hurtful information about the respondent on the Internet; made unwanted contact by threatening or insulting the respondent via instant messaging; or made unwanted contact by threatening or insulting the respondent via text (SMS) messaging. The latter category did not meet statistical standards to be reported separately.

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