#BU is an anti-bullying/suicide awareness movement dedicated to recognizing that each person is unique and different. Our uniqueness – gifts, talents, skills – should be celebrated for the rich diversity we bring to our family, school, and community!
Wouldn’t it be a boring world if we were all the same?
When we work, play, learn, and live from the place of being our true self, we can come together to bring creativity and better solutions to our homes, schools, jobs, and neighbors.
There is a significant increase the past few years of bullying and suicide among grades 6-12. The latest statistics are alarming:
- 28% of U.S. students in grades 6-12 experienced bullying
- 30% of young people admit to bullying others
- 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools
- 70.4% of school staff have seen bullying and 41% witness bullying once a week or more
- Most bullying takes place in school, outside on school grounds, and on the school bus
Yet, only 20-30% of students who are bullied notify adults about the bullying. Bullying is not illegal as there is no federal anti-bullying law. Rather, bullying is considered a public health issue.
In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Education released the first federal uniform definition of bullying for research and surveillance. (1) The core elements of the definition include:
- Unwanted aggressive behavior
- Observed or perceived power imbalance
- Repetition of behaviors or high likelihood or repetition
This definition acknowledges two modes and four types by which youth can be bullied or can bully others. The two modes are:
- Direct bullying – occurs in the presence of a targeted youth
- Indirect bullying – not directly communicated to a targeted youth such as spreading rumors
Four types of bullying categories include:
- Relational – efforts to harm the reputation or relationship of the targeted youth
- Damage to property
Bullying can happen in multiple places, contexts, or locations. Sometimes that place is online or through a cellphone. Bullying that uses technology (for example, phones, email, chat rooms, instant messaging, online posts) is considered electronic bullying.
Some bullying actions can fall into criminal categories, such as harassment, hazing, or assault.
What We Know
- Between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school.
- Most bullying happens in middle school with the most common types being verbal and social bullying.
- Young people who are perceived as different from their peers are often at risk for being bullied.
- Bullying affects all youth, including those who are bullied, those who bully others, and those who see bullying going on.
- Bullying often involves groups of students who support each other in bullying other students.
Promising Prevention Strategies(2-7)
- Confront the problem from many angles – involve the entire school community in creating a culture of respect.
- Bystanders who intervene on behalf of young people being bullied make a huge difference.
- Adults, including parents, can help prevent bullying by keeping the lines of communication open, talking to their children about bullying, encouraging them to do what they love, modeling kindness and respect, and encouraging them to get help when they are involved in bullying or know others who need help.
For statistics related to youth suicide, see the CDC youth Suicide webpage.
Join our Movement today – We need you to help make a difference!
- Gladden, R.M., Vivolo-Kantor, A.m., Hamburger, M.E. & Lumpkin, C.d. (2014). Bullying surveillance among youths: Uniform definitions for public health and recommended data elements, Version 1.0. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and US Department of Education.
- American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force. (2008). Are zero tolerance policies effective in the schools? An evidentiary review and recommendations. American Psychologist, 63(9), 852-862.
- Espelage, D.L., Green, H.D., & Polanin, J. (2012). Willingness to intervene in bullying episodes among middle school students: Individual and peer-group influences. Journal of Early Adolescence, 32(6), 776-801.
- Farrington, D. P. & Ttofi, M. M. (2009). School-based programs to reduce bullying and victimization. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 6.
- Boccanfuso C. & Kuhfeld M. (2011). Multiple responses, promising results: evidence-based nonpunitive alternatives to zero tolerance. Child Trends.http://www.childtrends.org/Files//Child_Trends-2011_03_01_RB_AltToZeroTolerance.pdf. Published 2011. Last accessed September 2012.
- Waasdorp, T. E., Bradshaw, C. P. & Duong, J. (2011). The link between parents' perceptions of the school and their responses to school bullying: Variation by child characteristics and the forms of victimization. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(2), 324-335.
- Waasdorp, T. E., Bradshaw, C. P., & Leaf, P. J. (2012). The impact of School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) on bullying and peer rejection: A randomized controlled effectiveness trial. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 116(2), 149-156.