Bullying: Some Sobering Statistics

  • Each day, approximately 160,000 students skip school to avoid being bullied, the National Education Association reports, with approximately 13 million school students being affected by bullying each year.
  • Sixty-two percent of NEA teachers and education support professionals polled for a 2010 study “indicated they’d witnessed bullying two or more times in the last month. Forty-one percent indicated they’d witnessed bullying once a week or more.
  • A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that “(u)p to to 15 percent of American children are chronically absent from school, missing at least one day in 10 and doing long-term harm to their academic progress,” The New York Times reported.
  • The Times also reported that frequent absences have been linked to low academic achievement and high dropout rates. The article cited studies suggesting a direct correlation between attendance and academic performance, and suggesting “that attendance may predict a student’s academic progress as effectively as test scores do.”
  • According to the Times’ report, “(p)oor children —who stand to benefit most from attending school — are also more likely to miss school.”

“This a social justice issue for us because bullying compromises students’ basic right to learn and grow in a safe environment,” former NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said in 2012 when he headed the labor union.

  • Nearly 1 in 3 elementary and middle-school students report being bullied during the school year (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2013).
  • The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students were: looks (55%), body shape (37%), and race (16%) (Davis and Nixon, 2010).
  • Twenty percent of high school students in the US report being bullied at school in the past year. One in 12 teenagers will attempt to commit suicide because they were bullied. (Center for Disease Control, 2014)
  • More than 30 percent of students admit to bullying classmates and peers (, 2013).

Even more sobering is the fact that the statistics don’t begin to show the extent of the problem — nor the damage. That’s because most students who are bullied do not report it.

  • Fewer than one in three students report being bullied. Sixty-four percent of children who were bullied did not report it (Petrosina, Guckenburg, DeVoe, and Hanson, 2010).