Half of U.S. Teens Admit Bullying in Last Year

A new report by the Josephson Institute of Ethics asked more than 43,000 high school students whether they’d been physically abused, teased or taunted in a way that seriously upset them. Nearly half of them say they’ve bullied someone in the past year, and nearly half say they’ve been the victim of bullying.  Previously, it was believed that bullying peaked in middle school.

In the survey, 10 percent of teens admitted bringing a weapon to school at least once, and 16 percent admitted being drunk at school.

The study’s release comes in a year of several high-profile suicides related to bullying, including that of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince of Massachusetts, who prosecutors say was relentlessly bullied by the six girls charged in her death.

The U.S. Department of Education recently sent letters to schools, colleges and universities around the country warning them that failing to adequately address ethnic, sexual or gender-based harassment could put them in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws.

Bullying has become a “hot button” issue especially considering the suicides relating to bullying and cyberbullying that has plagued the nation.  Educators cannot ignore the problem and need to take active and proactive steps to address this serious issue.