New data from the National Crime Victimization Survey shows reported incidents of bullying have dropped by more than a third since 2007.
Data from the School Crime Supplement of the national survey released in mid-March shows 20.8 percent of students reported being bullied in 2015 – a nearly 11 percent decline from 2007.
According to U.S. News & World Report:
A similar – though not as significant – decrease was also seen in students reporting being called a hate-related word, with the 7.2 percent reporting such an experience in 2015 down from some 9.7 percent in 2007.
Moreover, the percentage of bullied students who reported being bullied most frequently – as in almost every day – also decreased, while the percentage reporting that they had told a teacher or other adult about being bullied increased.
A Data Point bulletin published by the U.S. Department of Education reports the School Crime Supplement involved a nationally representative sample of students between the ages of 12 and 18.
“The SCS asks students whether they were bullied or called hate-related words in the school building, on school property, on the school bus, or going to or from school,” according to the bulletin. “Specifically, students were asked to report if they were made fun of, called names, or insulted; were the subject of rumors; were threatened with harm; were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; were pressured into doing things they did not want to do; were excluded from activities on purpose; or had property destroyed on purpose.”
Students were also asked if bullying involved “hate-related words” targeting their race, religion, ethnicity, gender or disability.
This survey is good news suggesting that there are positive benefits from the growing culture-wide sensitivity to bullying. No longer is a “boys-will-be-boys” attitude tolerated. The combination of external stigma and internal programs has helped to improve school climate. Researchers at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture found that “When social institutions—whether the family, peer relationships, youth organizations, the internet, religious congregations, entertainment, or popular culture—cluster together, they form a larger ecosystem of powerful cultural influences.” Around the experience of bullying these positive influences are now bearing fruit.
“Among student who reported they were bullied, the percentage who said the frequency of bullying was ‘almost every day’ decreased from 6.6 percent in 2007 to 4.2 percent in 2015,” the U.S. Department of Education reports. “The percentage of bullied students who indicated that they reported to a teacher or another adult at school about being bullied increased from 36.1 percent in 2007 to 43.1 percent in 2015.”
U.S. News & World Report noted that the progress in combating bullying in schools as administrators “have increased their focus on bullying prevention and focused more intentionally on what’s known as social and emotional learning in an effort to improve school climate.”
For more information on the National Crime Victimization Survey, please visit the Bureau of Justice Statistics website.
Teachers and principals interested in addressing bullying in their school might find support from the following resource: Stick Together