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Bullying

Question:
How many students are bullied at school?

Response:

In 2017, about 20 percent of students ages 12–18 reported being bullied at school during the school year. Of students ages 12–18, about 13 percent reported being the subject of rumors; 13 percent reported being made fun of, called names, or insulted; 5 percent reported being pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; and 5 percent reported being excluded from activities on purpose. Additionally, 4 percent of students reported being threatened with harm, 2 percent reported that others tried to make them do things they did not want to do, and 1 percent reported that their property was destroyed by others on purpose.


Percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being bullied at school during the school year, by type of bullying and sex: 2017

The data in this figure is described in the surrounding text.

NOTE: "At school" includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and going to and from school. Students who reported experiencing more than one type of bullying at school were counted only once in the total for students bullied at school.


In 2017, a higher percentage of female students than of male students ages 12–18 reported being bullied at school during the school year (24 vs. 17 percent). There were also differences in selected types of bullying by sex. A higher percentage of female students than of male students reported being the subject of rumors (18 vs. 9 percent); being made fun of, called names, or insulted (16 vs. 10 percent); and being excluded from activities on purpose (7 vs. 3 percent). In contrast, a higher percentage of male students than of female students reported being pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on (6 vs. 4 percent).

Overall, of students ages 12–18, higher percentages of students of Two or more races, Black students, and White students (23 percent each) than of Hispanic students (16 percent) and Asian students (7 percent) reported being bullied at school during the school year in 2017. In addition, higher percentages of American Indian/Alaska Native students (27 percent) and Hispanic students than of Asian students reported being bullied at school. The percentages of students who reported being the subject of rumors and being made fun of, called names, or insulted were both higher for Black students and White students than for Hispanic students and Asian students. The percentages were also higher for students of Two or more races and Hispanic students than for Asian students.

Higher percentages of students in each grade from 6 through 8 than of students in each grade from 9 through 12 reported being bullied at school during the school year. In 2017, about 29 percent of 6th-graders, 25 percent of 8th-graders, and 24 percent of 7th-graders reported being bullied at school, compared with 19 percent each of 9th- and 10th-graders, 15 percent of 11th-graders, and 12 percent of 12th-graders. In addition, a higher percentage of 9th-graders than of 11th- and 12th-graders and a higher percentage of 10th-graders than of 12th-graders reported being bullied at school.

In 2017, a higher percentage of students ages 12–18 in rural areas (27 percent) than of students in suburban areas (20 percent) and urban areas (18 percent) reported being bullied at school during the school year. A higher percentage of students in rural areas than of students in suburban areas reported being the subject of rumors (19 vs. 13 percent); being made fun of, called names, or insulted (16 vs. 13 percent); and being pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on (8 vs. 5 percent). In addition, a higher percentage of students in rural areas than of students in urban areas reported being the subject of rumors (19 vs. 11 percent) and being pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on (8 vs. 5 percent). There was no measurable difference between the percentages of public and private school students who reported being bullied at school, either overall or by specific types of bullying.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2020). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2019 (NCES 2020-063), Indicator 10.

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