Bullycide is a relatively new term, but one that must become part of the daily dialogue. It is what happens when bullying turns into a suicide. It is becoming a serious problem, especially in school settings, and teachers, parents, and students need to know the facts about bullycide before someone else decides to end their life because they’ve become a victim.
Bullycide statistics as of this moment are valid only in the United States, but that does not change the worldwide emphasis that needs to be placed on this subject.
It’s not just being a victim of a bully that can cause someone to commit suicide. There are also links to suicidal behavior and thoughts from those that are bullies as well. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control [CDC], more than 4,000 youth deaths are recorded every year because of suicide.
Three Facts You Need to Know About Bullycide Right Now
1. CDC statistics show that 14% of high school students have thought about committing suicide at least once and 50% of them have attempted to do it at least once.
2. More than 160,000 kids choose to stay at home rather than go to school because they are afraid of being bullied.
3. The highest risks of bullycide occur in the 10-14 age group.
Takeaway: Just about everyone remembers that there were bullies growing up and historically you either joined in with them or avoided them like the plague. In the past, movies like A Christmas Story show that bullying was almost considered to be a “normal” behavior. Today’s reality, however, is much different. Kids today don’t want to get into fights or see being called terrible names as a way to build character. It is instead taken as a personal attack, which it is, and it is difficult for anyone to withstand a constant barrage of information that is specifically geared toward tearing them down. That’s why raising awareness about bullycide is so critical right now.
How Big of a Problem is it?
1. 56% of students today state that they have witnessed bullying recently and that most bullying incidents occur at school.
2. 15% of students today have not shown up for school at least one day out of the year in order to avoid a bully.
<Strong.3 71% of students say that bullying is an ongoing problem and that not enough is being done to prevent it from happening.
4. 10% of students have dropped out of school specifically because of repetitive bullying.
5. 90% of LGBT students report that they have been bullied about their sexual orientation within the past year.
6. 25% of kids are bullied every month.
7. 43% of middle school students have threatened to harm another student sometime in the past year.
Takeaway: Think about that final statistic for a moment. 4 out of every 10 kids in middle school, the target demographic where bullycide is the biggest problem, have threatened to physically harm another student at least once in the last 12 months. These are kids that come from all sorts of backgrounds: affluent, religious, middle class, and low-income households are all included with this average. There isn’t a label that can be thrown onto this issue so that a certain demographic can be scapegoated and blamed. Bullycide affects everyone.
Who Gets Involved with Bullycide?
1. 17% of kids who are involved with bullying are both aggressors [bullies] and victims of bullying.
2. 21% of kids have been called names or insulted in some way, making it the most common form of bullying there is.
3. Although only 4% of students report that they’ve been cyberbullied in some way over the internet or through SMS texts, 11% of students admit to having participated in cyberbullying in some way.
4. 30% of middle school students have been cyberbullied at least twice within the past 30 days.
5. Children who become bullies by the age of 8 are 4 times more likely to have a criminal record by the time they reach the age of 30.
6. More than 35% of students today believe schools could do more to help prevent bullying.
7. 1 out of every 20 students has seen another student at school with a gun.
8. More than 282k students are attacked physically in a secondary school every month.
Takeaway: Is every student a victim of bullying? No. Does every student turn into a bully? No. Although aggressors and victims are a minority of the student population, bullycide can’t be ignored. There are over 4,000 lives at stake every year for American youth and bullying plays a key factor in this CDC statistic. Why is this so? Because 9 out of 10 students in 4th through 8th grade report that someone has tried to bully them at least once during the school year. That’s 90% of our kids, your kids, your neighbor’s kids, your friend’s kids, being put at risk for bullycide every time they step onto school grounds. It’s not an issue that can be ignored.
Why Does Bullycide Occur?
1. 87% of students say that revenge is one of the strongest motivation in becoming a bully, especially one that intends to harm or kill another student.
2. 86% of students today say that bullying is what causes teens to resort to lethal violence in schools.
3. 61% of students say that students try to harm others because they themselves have been victims of physical abuse at home.
4. 75% of school shooting incidents in the US have been linked to bullying and harassment.
5. 54% of students say that seeing physical abuse at home may lead to violence displayed at school.
6. Suicide rates in the 10-14 age demographic have grown by 50 percent in the last 30 years.
7. 31% of LGBT students who reported to school administrators that they had been bullied say that no action was taken to protect them.
Takeaway: What this says right here is that bullying doesn’t start at the school. Bullying starts at home based on what kids see their parents doing. It’s one thing to teach children to stand up for themselves, but it’s a different story to show kids by example that the best way to stand up for beliefs and philosophies is to use physical abuse to create compliance. It’s a vicious cycle that is being seen: kids learn to bully, come to school and bully others because of it, and then this creates a response of vengeance that heightens the level of violence that is being seen. Bullycide needs to stop where it starts: at the home environment.
How Safe is the Online Environment?
1. 35% of teens say that someone they now has actually threatened them online in some way.
2. About 80% of students have encountered some form of bullying that was directed toward them while online.
3. 1 in every 4 students today have been repeatedly bullied through their cell phones or over the internet.
4. Over 50% of kids do not tell their parents when someone attempts to bully them online or through their phones – only 10% of students, in fact, do tell their parents.
5. 10% of teens have had pictures specifically posted online to harm their reputation without their permission.
6. 20% of teens have posted or sent photographs that are sexually suggestive or of themselves nude to others.
7. Girls are more likely than boys to be involved in cyberbullying.
Takeaway: If only 10% of kids today are telling their parents about what is happening to them online, during phone conversations, or with their texting, then it is up to the parents to make sure they are involved. Parents or guardians must know what is going on in social media accounts, emails, messaging, SnapChat, and every place else their child might be not because of wanting to be a stalker, but because they can be a helpful resource. Is it a fine line to balance between support and being the authority in the household? Sure it is. If that doesn’t exist, however, the facts are clear: a child will be at an increased risk of being a victim of bullycide.
What Can Be Done Right Now?
1. 57% of bullying incidents can be stopped within 10 seconds if a bystander is willing to intervene when they witness a bully in action.
2. 29.3% of bullying incidents occur within the classroom, making it the most common place to be bullied – even above school hallways or locker rooms [29%].
3. There is no national level anti-bullying law in place. 49 states have local legislation in place, but the act of bullying is not illegal by itself anywhere on state of national levels.
<strong.4. Only when bullying reaches the level of harassment does it break laws that are in place and create the possibility of consequences for the bully.
5. The Federal government’s stance on bullying is that bullycide is not necessarily a crime, but it is a public health issue.
6. The youth that are most at risk for bullycide are those who are socially isolated, students with some form of a disability, or a LGBT student.
7. For every successful suicide that occurs in today’s youth, there are also 100 attempted suicides that have occurred as well.
8. Victims of bullying are up to 9 times more likely to consider suicide as a viable option to eliminate the problem permanently.
Takeaway: What is clearly missing, based on these facts, is action. Where there is inaction in our schools and homes, there is a higher risk of bullying to occur. It can’t just be a proactive outlook that is taken either as clearly it is beneficial to react to bullying in order to stop it. This must happen at every level where there are adults in charge of our youth in order for real change to take place. If there is just one gap in the armor, there will be a bully who will exploit that gap and utilize it to create a victim. It is the responsibility of the adults, not the kids, to make sure all the gaps are closed.
Could Parents Be Bullying and Not Know It?
1. Parents who dominate their children in every form of life are more likely to raise children who become bullies.
2. Only 50% of educators report receiving any training on how to appropriately recognize and respond to a bullying incident.
3. Most bullies blame their victims for the bullying behavior because the thought process is that if the “bothersome” behavior wasn’t present, they wouldn’t be tempted to bully.
4. 67% of students are not confident that they can access a teacher at school as a resource to prevent future bullying incidents.
5. 84% of teens say that they’ve seen others intervene online to tell cyberbullies to stop their behavior.
6. 3 out of every 4 students have admitted that they have purposely visited a website that was bullying another student.
7. Interventions in physical bullying incidents happens in just 1 out of every 25 unique episodes.
8. 71% of adults report responding to a witnessed bullying incident, but only 1 in 4 students report seeing an adult intervention.
Takeaway: Children do make their own decisions and this can sometimes be outside of what the family environment sets as an example, but that is rarely the case. Kids learn by example and if they see their parents or guardians taking whatever steps are necessary to dominate their social circles, then they will do the same thing. It is the same with teachers – if domination and hierarchy are the primary components of the classroom, then there are bullying influences that are in play. In order for bullycide to stop for good, everyone must take action right now and get involved. Together we can create safe learning environments that will allow our children to become the future leaders they’re destined to be.