Youth Can Help Prevent and Respond to Bullying

There are many types of bullying. Hitting and shoving, name-calling, spreading harmful rumors, posting insults online, and destroying property are all forms of bullying.

Bullying affects a large number of young people. Bullying in school affects between 18 and 31 percent of children and teens. Cyberbullying probably affects about 7 to 15 percent of youth. LGBT youth, youth with disabilities, and obese youth are at higher risk of being bullied.

The harm caused by bullying can last a long time. Bullying can have long-lasting results for youth who are bullied, for youth who bully others, and for youth who witness bullying.

Youth can help schools implement bullying prevention programs. The programs that appear to work best mix activities for all students – such as using class time to discuss bullying – with additional help for the students at highest risk of being bullied.

Be aware of what doesn’t work. For example, zero tolerance policies, which use suspension and other harsh penalties, do not appear to be effective at reducing bullying or making schools safer.