Middle School Mayhem – Bullying is Real

Is your child getting bullied? As a parent of a child with special needs, you're most likely not a stranger to bullying.

We know bullying exists, but do we fully understand its scale?

Statistics show that bullying is much more of a problem than we may think. The latest statistics reflect that, and the numbers are shocking. Before we get into the numbers, let's define bullying:

Intentionally aggressive, usually repeated, verbal, social, or physical behavior aimed at a specific person or group of people.

Why Kids bully others

A study by UCLA says that many bullies are incentivized by the social status gained after bullying (in middle school.) Nearly 2,000 students were surveyed, and the results found that most bullies were deemed "cool" by their peers. (Students who were surveyed answered with the names of kids who were considered "cool" – the same students were considered bullies by the surveyed students.) Other research shows that there is a relation between substance abuse and bullying.

So where does bullying take place?

Bullying usually happens at school. 

  • 30 percent of students say they've been bullied at school according to the DHHS.

  • 20 percent of U.S. students in grades 9-12 reportedly have experienced bullying or are feeling bullied

  • 28 percent of students in grades 6-12 report the same, and experts agree that most incidences of bullying occur during middle school

  • 29.3 percent of middle school students had experienced bullying in the classroom

  • 29 percent experienced it in hallways or lockers

  • 23.4 percent were bullied in the cafeteria

  • 19.5 percent were bullied during gym class

  • 12.2 percent of bullied kids couldn’t even escape the torture in the bathroom

  • 70.6 percent of teens have seen bullying occurring in their schools

  • 30 percent of young people admit to bullying themselves

  • 57 percent of the time when someone intervenes, bullying stops within 10 seconds

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Forms of bullying

The most cited form of bullying is name calling. This is followed by teasing, rumor-spreading, physical incidents, purposeful isolation, threats, belongings being stolen, and sexual harassment. Cyberbullying occurred with the least frequency.

How to stop bullying

In this study, the messages that were proven to work most effectively in anti-bullying campaigns were focused on intervention. 

  • "Bullying is not tolerated" is not likely to be very effective

  • Effective anti-bullying programs need to focus on the bystanders, who can step in and stop the behavior

If your child is getting bullied

Although bullying happens more and more frequently these days, it's important that parents take action. If you have taken measures against bullying, and the problem still persists, it's time to start considering a more significant change. Many of our students have come from public schools where they were the center of a bully's attention. Their exceptionalities should not be used against them, they should be embraced. That's why we absolutely pride ourselves on creating an inclusive environment where students treat each other with respect and are set up to thrive.