Bullying Statistics: Reduce Bullying Through Journaling
Bullying has received a lot of attention in recent years, with more and more schools taking proactive steps to prevent this damaging behavior. However, there is still so much work to be done—and you need only look at bullying statistics to see what a widespread problem still exists today.
For instance, did you know that 160,000 kids miss school each day for fear of bullying? Moreover, one out of four kids are bullied every month in the United States, and one in ten drops out due to repetitive bullying.
Frankly, this is completely unacceptable—and so in an effort to support Bullying Awareness, we want to share some useful and powerful information about bullying statistics with you today.
First, we’ll take a look at some truly astounding numbers surrounding the prevalence of bullying in the U.S.—and then we’ll examine how parents, teachers, and students can use journaling to combat this difficult subject.
Bullying Statistics Across the United States
According to StopBullying.gov, an online resource managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 20% of students between the ages of 12 and 18 experience some form of bullying.
Similarly, 19% of students surveyed from grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 reported that they had been bullied on school property in the past year—while nearly 15% of students in the same grades reported that they had been bullied online in the same year.
The percentage of online bullying stayed the same when expanded to students between the ages of 12 and 18 who were surveyed: 15% said that they had been bullied either online or via text by other students.
The students in this age group who were surveyed also reported some truly saddening beliefs about their bullies and the types of bullying they received:
- 56% believed their bullies could influence the way other students saw them
- 50% believed their bullies had more social influence than them
- 43.4% said they were bullied in a hallway or stairwell
- 42.1% said they were bullied in the classroom
- 21.9% said they were bullied outside of the school building, but on school grounds
- 12.1% were bullied in a bathroom or locker room
Perhaps most horrifying of all, 46% of the students said that they told an adult at school about the bullying they received—and yet this problem persists.
Use Journaling As a Tool to Reduce Bullying
School bullying is a serious matter that can sadly sometimes have deadly consequences. When kids are bullied, they are prone to sadness, frustration, and depression—and they may even experience a drop in their sense of self-worth. Obviously, severe cases of bullying may require therapy or other professional treatment. However, you may sometimes begin early intervention at home or in the classroom with a tool like journaling.
Writing about the negative feelings associated with bullying helps with the coping and healing process—and it can be used to assist both the bully and the victim.
In fact, in some therapies that look at bullying from both the perpetrator’s and the victim’s sides, the bully is sometimes asked to journal about their own feelings. As it turns out, what bullies express in their journals are pretty much the same feelings and thoughts that a victim feels and expresses in theirs. This is typically because bullies act out as a result of poor treatment they have received from others (often at home). As the saying goes, “hurt people hurt people.”
Of course, journaling is also beneficial for bullying victims as the page can serve as a safe place for students to explore their trauma and feelings about the treatment they’ve received. When a child feels like the world is against them, a journal can be a place where kids can sort out the confusion between what others say about them and their own concept of themselves.
Writing in a journal can be healing for both the victim and the perpetrator of bullying. It allows each side a way to express themselves in an open and honest manner that is non-violent with no “target” involved. From here, perhaps a bridge can be built between the two sides of bullying—and perhaps the effects of bullying in your community can start to be healed.
With these goals in mind, we invite you to use the following anti-bullying journal prompts in your classroom. These powerful writing topics are a fantastic tool that you can use to combat bullying statistics among both bullies and their victims in your school.
28 Anti-Bullying Journal Prompts to Reduce Bullying Statistics in Your Community
- How would you define bullying? When does joking around cross the line and become bullying instead?
- What makes bullying so damaging?
- How does bullying harm the victim? How does bullying harm the perpetrator?
- What would you do if you witnessed a friend being bullied? Would you react differently if you witnessed someone you didn’t like being bullied? Answer as honestly as you can.
- Why do you think some people lash out at others and bully them?
- It’s a difficult question—but have you ever bullied someone? How do you feel when you look back at your actions?
- Do you believe bullying is more prevalent today because of social media? Why or why not?
- Have you ever felt reluctant to do something or to go to an event because you were afraid you would be bullied or made fun of? How did that make you feel?
- Do you think teachers and other adults in our community do enough to prevent bullying? Why or why not?
- Have you ever reported bullying to an adult (either on your own behalf or on behalf of another student)? Why or why not?
- Write about a time when you saw someone being bullied online. What happened? How did others respond to the situation?
- Does it help to get parents or teachers involved in a situation with bullies, or does that ever make things worse for the victim? Why?
- What do you think the best way to stop bullying is? Explain your thoughts with as much detail as possible.
- Do you have empathy for bullies? Why or why not?
- Why do you think bullies target some people over others? How could this problem be addressed?
- Define empathy. Then, explain how empathy could be used to teach compassion for both bullies and victims.
- Is it possible for someone who is a bully to change their behavior? Why or why not?
- Do you think the media depicts bullying in schools accurately? Why? Give examples to support your opinion.
- Bullies often pick on people who are “different”—but differences are what makes people interesting! What are some of your personal differences that you would like to be celebrated for?
- Look around the classroom and write down one complimentary thing about every other person in the room. When you are done, reflect. Did this exercise make you see anyone differently?
- What kind of feeling do you think a bully gets when harassing their victim? What are some other ways they could get this feeling instead?
- What percentage of people in our school do you think are affected by bullying (either as perpetrators, victims, or witnesses)? Explain your reasoning and discuss how this affects those involved.
- Think about a time when you said something hurtful to someone else. How did you feel afterward? How do you think the other person felt? What could you have done differently in that situation?
- Do you believe some forms of bullying can have more detrimental effects than others? Why or why not?
- What are some of the consequences that victims of bullying face? How can we help these people overcome those challenges?
- Should a victim of bullying be expected to forgive the person or people who harmed them? Why or why not?
- What are some positive actions you could take to show your support for people who are bullied?
- What kind of impact does bullying have on people who aren’t directly involved as victims or bullies—but who are simply bystanders?
Looking for more tools to use in the fight to reduce bullying statistics? Be sure to check out these special resources:
- Bullying Facts and 10 Prompts
- 31 Bullying Awareness Writing Prompts for Students
- Anti-Bullying Activities: Take a Proactive Step Toward Preventing Bullying in Your Community
Until next time, write on…
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