Facts About Bullying

sad girl

Bullying can be traced back to the beginning, with the abuse Cain heaped on Abel.

What is Bullying Today?

  • A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending him or herself.
  • Bullying is an intentional, negative act.
  • Bullying is usually repeated behavior.
  • Bullying involves a power imbalance.

Bullying can be traced back to the beginning, with the abuse Cain heaped on Abel. Ever since, children have been bullied — the strong prey on the weak as hierarchies form in social settings.

Bullying is a major issue in Jewish day schools, as it is in public and other private school systems and informal educational settings such as summer camps. However, there are additional issues related to the private school setting. For example, on a basic theological level, bullying is particularly troubling in Jewish settings because the Torah, the primary source of lessons for our children, teaches a foundation of “kavod” — interpersonal respect, which our faith calls “bein adam lechavero.”

U.S. students in grades 6-10:

  • Bullying occurs most commonly in grades 6 to 8.
  • 19% of students report sometimes or frequently bullying others.
  • 17% report being bullied sometimes or frequently.
  • 8-9% are bullied one or more times a week.

The vast majority of bullying incidents involve not only the tormentor and tormented but bystanders, unwilling to intervene. Bullying can have a powerful and lasting effect on the bully, the bullied, and the bystander.

Children and adolescents are more absent from school as a result of bullying behavior then anything else.

Children who are bullied are at a high risk for developing anxiety and depression in youth and adulthood.

Children and adolescents that engage in bullying behavior are at greater risk of a future criminal record.

Bystanders — witnesses that remain silent when someone is victimized by bullying behavior — are at risk of a loss of empathy for others and a lack of trust in others to help when someone is hurting.

(Information on this page sourced from the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program).

Pages about Bullying on This Site

line divider