Percentage of middle, high school students bullied drops to lowest level recorded

According to the Washington Post, about 20 percent of US middle schools and high schools reported that they had been bullied in 2013, the “lowest rate since the federal government began collecting data on bullying in 2005.” The Post pointed out that the data comes from the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which has surveyed students ages 12 to 18 every two years since 2005.

“Even though we’ve come a long way over the past few years in educating the public about the health and educational impacts that bullying can have on students, we still have more work to do to ensure the safety of our nation’s children,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement.

The AP reported that the survey from 2013 found that “22 percent of students age 12 to 18 said they were bullied,” a six percentage point drop from the 2011 survey when 28 percent of students said they had been bullied.

While “educators and researchers praised the decline,” they also stressed that there are still large numbers of students subject to bullying, which can be magnified “in a world of rampant online social media where malicious statements can be made anonymously and shared quickly and broadly.”

Reuters quoted a statement from Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who said, “Parents, teachers, health providers, community members and young people are clearly making a difference by taking action and sending the message that bullying is not acceptable.”

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