I'm a teacher. The kids I see each day are between the ages of 11 and 18. Here are some heart-stopping statistics for the school where I teach. Please note: these number are current and real. Statistics on bullying are gathered annually by means of a Provincial survey completed by all students from grades 2-12. My school was rated about middle of the pack, which means that there are several schools that received more disturbing statistics than the ones I'm sharing here.
67% of students in my school have been bullied in the past 12 months.
Between grade 5 and grade 7, the frequency of bullying incidents increases by almost 40%.
6% of the students here are bullied on a daily basis. 10% have been enduring it for more than a year. 27% of our kids here are afraid to come to school because of bullying. 3% have missed school more than once because of it.
Of the types of bullying that occur, verbal and social bullying are more than twice as common as physical intimidation. Incidences of cyber bullying have more than tripled in the past year.
Despite all this, 82% of bullying victims have not told an adult that the bullying was taking place. Many didn't think anything could or would be done about it, but an alarming number simply didn't want to be labelled "snitch" or "squealer".
86% of students have witnessed someone being bullied this year. Only 13% reported the incident to an adult. 80% didn't want to get involved.
What can we do to change things? Two boys from a small high school in Nova Scotia did their part and it's become a national movement. Here's how it happened:
Tomorrow, Wednesday 23 February, my son and I will wear pink shirts to school. Bullying hurts everyone. It has to stop. We can make a difference, one person at a time.