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  • Posted: December 30, 2013
    Sad teen boy is seated with a backpack.

    In the past decade, headlines reporting the tragic stories of a young person’s suicide death linked in some way to bullying have become regrettably common. There is so much pain and suffering associated with each of these events, affecting individuals, families, communities and our society as a whole. There is an increasing national outcry to “do something” about the problem of bullying and suicide.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other violence prevention partners are conducting research to learn more about the relationship between these two serious public health problems with the goal of using what we have learned to save lives and prevent future suffering. One example of this work is in September 2010, the CDC brought together a panel of experts who presented research focusing on this... Continue Reading

    Posted in Risk Factors
  • Posted: October 23, 2013
    Why We Don’t Use the Word “Bully” to Label Kids

    “That kid is a bully.”

    We have all heard someone utter these words at one time or another, but is it fair to label a child?

    The labels bully, victim, and target are used often by media, researchers and others to refer to children who bully others and children who are bullied.  Yet, you won’t find these terms used in this way on StopBullying.gov. For... Continue Reading

    Posted in Response
  • Posted: September 17, 2013
    Michelle Lynn Nelson, Intern, U.S. Department of Education

    Back when MySpace was popular, almost every student at my high school had a profile. For us MySpace was an online-place where we could thoroughly express ourselves. We would post pictures from our latest and greatest adventures, update our status to our current mood, and choose backgrounds and music that represented who we were as a person. However, at one point during my high school MySpace became less of a space for self-expression and more a place of cyberbullying.

    Tina Fey’s Mean Girls made popular the “Burn Book,” where a group of popular girls, known as “the Plastics” would write rumors, secrets, truths and lies about their fellow students and teachers. My high school’s “Burn Book” took the form of several online MySpace pages,... Continue Reading

    Posted in Cyberbullying
  • Posted: August 30, 2013
    Tyler Pascavis

    Tyler Pascavis wants us to talk about bullying. Tyler, 18, is a native of Illinois, a lifetime member of the 4-H, and an anti-bullying advocate who believes that the only way we can put a stop to bullying is to bring it out in the open. At the school Tyler attended most of his life, Tyler found that the administration was not willing to admit there was a problem with bullying.  A high-level school administrator once stated that bullying was not a problem at the school, so students who experienced bullying were left to suffer in silence. As someone who was bullied when he was young, and eventually someone who engaged in bullying himself, Tyler saw firsthand how staying silent on bullying could be as harmful as the bullying itself.

    Last April, Tyler had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC for the 4-H National Conference. There, more than 200 teens from across the U.S., Canada... Continue Reading

  • Posted: August 23, 2013
    A teacher talks to her class.

    As Secretary Duncan has noted, the Department of Education is committed to making sure that all of our young people grow up free of fear, violence, and bullying. Bullying not only threatens a student’s physical and emotional safety at school, but fosters a climate of fear and disrespect, creating conditions that negatively impact learning—undermining students’ ability to achieve to their full potential. Unfortunately, we know that children with disabilities are disproportionately affected by bullying.

    Factors such as physical vulnerability, social skills challenges, or intolerant environments may increase the risk of bullying. Students who are targets of bullying are more likely to experience lower academic achievement, higher truancy rates, feelings of alienation, poor peer relationships, loneliness, and depression. We must do... Continue Reading

    Posted in Specific Groups
  • Posted: July 30, 2013
    Kids at play

    Its summertime! School’s out and there is a good chance that your kids will be spending some time at summer camp.  Whether its sports camp, adventure camp, music camp, or any of the other amazing arrays of camps available to kids these days, most camps are equipped to understand and address bullying.  As parents and caretakers, here are some tips to help have a conversation with your child and with camp staff if you suspect bullying may be taking place.

    Find out about camp policies on bullying:

    Ask the camp director and counselors about the procedures that are in place and how parents are informed. Ask how camps proactively address the issue. Ask how campers are supervised between activities.

    Talk to your kids:

    Discuss bullying with your child and keep those communications lines open!... Continue Reading
    Posted in Specific Groups
  • Posted: July 1, 2013

    Although bullying can occur among individuals of any weight, overweight and underweight children tend to be at higher risk for bullying. Targets of verbal bullying based on weight, sometimes referred to as “weight teasing,” can experience a number of negative consequences, including a change in body perception.

    Weight teasing by both family and peers has been associated with high levels of anxiety and low self-esteem among adolescents. Having low self-esteem because of peer criticism can change an individual’s body image. Body image is the positive or negative feelings you have about the way you look. Continue Reading

    Posted in Risk Factors
  • Posted: June 17, 2013
    Child attending public school

    In Howard County, Maryland, we knew we needed to tackle bullying and cyber-harassment, after a few serious incidents focused our attention and raised awareness of these problems in our community. We examined current laws and discussed whether to push for new state legislation. We looked at how our public schools collect reports of bullying and later, how they handle them.

    After much study and discussion, we decided on a multi-faceted approach that brings together a variety of community partners and offers a comprehensive way forward.  We announced our plan on May 1 and now, are looking forward to seeing the results.

    The plan involves three parts:

    First, we want to change what people think and feel about bullying. We will develop a social marketing campaign to make sure adults and children know about the severe effects of bullying and what to do when it occurs.... Continue Reading
    Posted in Response
  • Posted: June 3, 2013
    An isolated teenager walks alone.

    Duke University professors recently published research that shows the degree to which bullying can affect someone’s mental health.

    Authors Copeland, Wolke, Angold, and Costello discovered that victims of childhood bullying have a higher risk of developing mental health problems later in life. The study followed more than 1,000 youth, starting at the ages of 9, 11, and 13. The youth were interviewed each year until they turned 16. Follow-up interviews were then conducted into adulthood.

    ... Continue Reading

    Posted in Response
  • Posted: May 14, 2013
    Several men stand together.

    The issue of bullying is a growing concern in schools across the United States. A lot of research attention has been given to the overlap between bullying and other forms of youth violence, including gang related, as well as behavioral health risks, such as substance use. Bullying can be a big issue for schools since it not only creates a poor school environment for students but also impacts school staff. Continue Reading

    Posted in Response

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