A fifth of all students between 12 and 18 years of age in the country have been bullied, according to the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice, though up to one-third of students claim to have been bullied. Whether bullying is on the rise is hard to determine, Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center explained in an interview. “Awareness has risen and that may account for more cases being reported.”
24/7 Tempo consulted several experts specializing in bullying prevention and reviewed information from both government and nonprofit anti-bullying and cyberbullying organizations, such as StopBullying.gov and StompOutBullying.org to find out what things never to say to your child if they are being bullied. These are the 20 warning signs your child may be getting bullied at school.
Physical and cyber bullying often occur together, Hertzog said. “If a child is being bullied face to face, it’s likely happening online as well,” she added. Parents and teachers need to form a partnership and work together to detect any sign of abusive behavior as early as possible, Hertzog noted.
There is no federal law directly addressing bullying, but in some cases it can overlap with laws against harassment based on race, country of origin, disability, or religion. Some states have established anti-bullying laws or other regulations to address the problem. Most of these require that schools investigate when bullying is reported and respond accordingly.
The prevalence of bullying varies heavily throughout the United States and may be correlated with factors such as child obesity, poverty, and mental stress — these are the states where bullying is the biggest problem.