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Survey: School bullying at lowest ebb in 10 years

Published:Wednesday | May 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Nearly one in four surveyed United States (US) students say they have been bullied in school. That's an improvement, but the prevalence reinforces just how difficult the problem is to solve.

The survey from 2013 found that 22 per cent of students age 12 to 18 said they were bullied. That's a six percentage point decline from two years earlier when 28 per cent of students said they'd been bullied. It's the lowest level since the National Center for Education Statistics began surveying students on bullying in 2005, the Education Department said Friday when announcing the results.

Educators and researchers praised the decline, but said the large numbers of students still reporting that they are victims reflects that the issue is difficult to understand and address, particularly in a world of rampant online social media, where malicious statements can be made anonymously and shared quickly and broadly.

Among respondents, nine per cent of girls and five per cent of boys said they'd experienced cyberbullying either in school or outside of school. Unwanted text messages were the most common way students said they were cyberbullied followed by hurtful information posted on the Internet.

Overall, bullying can be physical, verbal or relational, such as leaving someone out on purpose.