These stats brought to you by Christina Nowaski. Each day this week, she will provide us with more horrifying stats on bullying.
Whenever we come across hard topics in life, it often helps to look at things in black and white. For me, that means numbers. There is a comfort in knowing that 1+1=2. ALWAYS. No gray, no nuance, no opinions, just facts. As the mom of a teenager, it seems like every topic is hard. As Stefanie put it so well, it’s like a million water balloons are being dropped down on you constantly and you spend all your energy just trying to stay dry. Bullying is one of those water balloons.
My family has been lucky. I was not ever a victim of it. My older son got a taste of it in middle school from a kid named Massimo and to this day (at 25), he won’t buy clothes at Target because of it. He was saved by the tormentor going to a different high school (phew!) My 14 year old got a taste in 6th grade and was also saved by the school split as he and his bully went off to different middle schools. Ironically they then came back together as freshmen in high school, but also as football teammates and suddenly they are on even footing and have not only come to a truce but even willfully hung out together at the varsity game last week. Like I said – lucky!
Still, both my boys would have had to answer “yes” if they were asked in a survey if they had been bullied. As the statistics show, they encountered it during those prime years of grades 6-10. Again, they got lucky – their bullies were removed from them thanks to district boundaries and school choice programs.
But is it all really that bad, or is it the case where the media has been focusing on it more and more so it just *seems* to be? I wish the numbers showed a rosier picture, but they do not. The following are from Groundspark.org and were from surveys gathered within the last 10 years:
64% of youth are teased at least once a month and nearly 1/3 of youth are bullied at least once a month
6 out of 10 American teens witness bullying at least once a day.
For children in grades 6-10, nearly 1 in 6 – or 3.2 million are victims of bullying each year and 3.7 million are bullies.
Did you notice that last stat? There are more bullies than victims! That supports the stories you hear of one child being harassed by multiple bullies.