Half of high school students admit they have bullied someone in the last year, and nearly half say they have been bullied. Has bullying become an epidemic? Is bullying out of control? A national study released Tuesday seems to suggest we are headed that way, if we aren't there already.
A survey that was conducted by the Josephson Institute of Ethics in Los Angeles, asked 43,321 high school students about a number of things. Among those questions they asked the teens if they had ever been teased, taunted, or physically abused to the point of being upset by it. A whopping 43% said they had been the target of bullies. More shocking was the 50% that admitted that they were the bully!
"Previous to this, the evidence was bullying really peaks in middle school," Michael Josephson, president of the institute said. Now it seems that the bullying actually gets worse into high school. This may be because of the advent of the internet, which gives teens another avenue to bully someone.
There have recently been a string of high-profile bullying episodes, several of which led the person bullied to commit suicide.
This is a problem that is spiraling out of control. How can we stop it? How did we get to a place where our teens and pre-teens feel powerful enough to push the envelope as bullies to the point where those who are bullied feel hopeless?