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Report on Bullying in Schools

Smart girls decide for themselves™.

Your thoughts!
We here at SmartGirl wanted to know your attitudes and thoughts about a serious issue affecting many girls today-- bullying. Check out the results of our Bullying in Schools survey to find out what other girls like you think about this widespread problem.
Who responded?
Of the 451 people who responded, 412 of you were girls, while 34 were boys and 5 gave no answer. Most of those who answered our questions were between the ages of 12 and 15, and had experience with some form of bullying.
How old are you?
Here are the ages of our respondents.
The majority speaks...
We were very surprised to see how many girls have had an experience with bullying. The majority of you have dealt with this problem in your lives at some point. We know that bullying can be a painful and isolating experience, but by the results of this survey it is ovious that those of you being bullied are not alone.
How often do you experience bullying?
You gave us feedback about the frequency of bullying
We asked the questions, you gave us the answers...
Naturally, we wanted to know the flipside of the previous question-- how often do you find yourself bullying others? Here is what you had to say:

Always- 6 responses
Regularly- 12 responses
Sometimes-168 responses
Never- 259 responses

The results show that the majority of you do not bully others at school, while as previously shown, most of you experience it. What gives?

Not only do many of you experience bullying from time to time, but you are also witnesses of it as well. Here is what you had to say about how often you see bullying occuring around you:

Always- 63 responses
Regular- 124 responses
Sometimes- 222 responses
Never- 37 responses

SmartGirl insights...
Many of you gave us a lot of great reasons as to why you think people are driven to bully others. Here was the survey question:

Why do you think people bully others?

Here is what you had to say:

Cool- 326 responses
Insecurity- 296 responses
Attention- 282 responses
Anger- 278 responses
Jealousy- 254 resonses
Fun- 237 responses
Mean- 224 responses
Boredom- 153 responses
Defense mechanism- 9 responses
Family problems- 3 responses
All of the above- 4 responses
Other- 8 responses
Does it come with the territory?
Some people think that bullying and teasing are a normal part of growing up and that everyone experiences it in some form. We at SmartGirl wanted to know if you bought into this idea of bullying as a sort of inevitable rite of passage. Here is what said:
Are bullying and teasing a normal part of growing up?
We were surprised to see that most SmartGirls see bullying as a fact of life even when so many of you think that it is a demeaning and hurtful practice. We here at SmartGirl don't believe that bullying is inevitable and know that if we as a group put forth the effort, we can work together to stop the frequency of bullying.
SmartGirl bullying stats and info...
The following questions really gave us some important insight into what it is like to be a girl today and how you deal with such important social problems like bullying. Here is what you told us about bullying and how it affects your lives:

When you are bullied, how often do you tell someone or do anything about it?

Everytime- 45 responses
Most- 85 responses
Rarely- 120 responses
Never- 66 responses
N/A- 129 responses

Telling someone about being bullied would:

Be the first step- 222 responses
Make it worse- 68 responses
Be considered tattling- 49 responses
Be embarrassing- 43 responses
Other- 48 responses

Bullying is most common in:

Elementary school- 61 responses
Middle school- 100 responses
High school- 89 responses
Equal- 167 responses
Don't know- 34 responses

Bullying most often occurs in:

Classroom- 39 responses
Lunchroom- 14 responses
Playground- 117 responses
Halls- 81 responses
Bathroom- 12 responses
Bus- 22 responses
Outside- 49 responses
Don't know- 21 responses
Other- 81 responses

My school does a good job of watching out for bullying:

Strongly agree- 62 responses
Agree- 155 responses
Disagree- 114 responses
Strongly disagree- 67 responses
Don't know- 41 responses

SmartGirls speak out!

As we can see by the data that you SmartGirls offered us, bullying is something that seems to occur in all areas of the school at one time or another. It seems hard to imagine that adults are unaware of the prevalence of this practice when it is happening in so many places. That's why it is important that you girls TELL SOMEONE when you are being bullied. If you are experiencing bullying, or know somoene who is, you should tell an adult right away so that they can deal with the situation effectively and prevent more harassment from occuring. School should be a place for fun and learning, not stress and anxiety!

The effects of bullying...
Being bullied is a very difficult and painful experience for many girls. Different emotions are evoked when one feels harassed, isolated and embarrassed by others. We here at SmartGirl wanted to know how you feel when you are bullied. As we can see from the pie chart below, a more or less equal amount of people chose each of a wide-range of emotions from anger to fear. The effects of bullying affect girls in many different ways, but it can be said from our data that they are all negative and definitely not appropriate for a successful learning environment.
Emotional burden of bullying
SmartGirls tell us how the feel when they are bullied.
Two sides to the story...
Bullying is not good for anybody. It is not only hurtful and detrimental to the person being bullied, but it is also a bad experience for the bullier. Those of you who have bullied others in the past told us how it feels to be the person inflicting this pain on a classmate. The bar chart shows how small the amount of people who get a positive feeling from bullying are in comparison to those who feel guilty, or those who may not bully at all.
Bullies have feelings too!
SmartGirls who have bullied a classmate tell us how they feel.
More questions, more answers...

What is the best way to stop a bully?

Ignore- 97 responses
Tell a family member- 33 responses
Tell someone at school- 119 responses
Fight- 33 responses
Talk it out- 45 responses
Pay the bully to stop- 2 responses
Pay a guard- 2 responses
Gang up on them- 19 responses
Set them up- 33 responses
There is no way-14 responses
Other- 34 responses

To avoid bullies, I have:

Changed my routine- 29 responses
Changed my school- 14 responses
Changed myself- 59 responses
Made sure I'm not alone- 37 responses
I never have avoided them- 140 responses
N/A- 156 responses

A smaller person is more likely to get picked on:

Strongly agree- 63 responses
Agree- 171 responses
Disagree- 97 responses
Strongly disagree- 51 responses
Don't know- 50 responses

What reason do bullies most often give for picking on someone?

Appearance- 153 responses
Race- 18 responses
Religion- 5 responses
Nationality- 6 responses
IQ- 14 responses
Economic status- 0 responses
Disability- 20 responses
Family- 4 responses
Social status- 50 responses
No reason- 72 responses
Don't know- 30 responses
Other- 58 responses

The bullying I experienced took the form of:

E-mails- 25 responses
Calls- 37 responses
Text messages- 29 responses
Notes- 57 responses
Violence- 92 responses
Threats- 108 responses
Rumors- 163 responses
Left-out- 147 responses
Property- 49 responses
Mocked- 222 responses
N/A- 140 responses
Comments- 14 responses
Instant messaging- 1 response
Other- 11 responses

Bullies are usually boys:

Strongly agree- 36 responses
Agree- 93 responses
Disagree- 158 responses
Strongly disagree- 112 responses
Don't know- 31 responses

Bullying doesn't occur among adults:

Strongly agree-26 responses
Agree- 50 responses
Disagree- 213 responses
Strongly disagree- 88 responses
Don't know- 58 responses

Final thoughts...
It is interesting to see how young people view bullying. Many of you take extreme measures to change the way you are in order to avoid bullying and its effects. Others tell us how they are attacked- everything from emails to actual physical violence. It seems to us at SmartGirl that bullying is something that is invading every part of some people's daily lives and that YOU have the power to stop it! Once again, we cannot stress how important it is for you to tell someone if you are being bullied. Bullies come in all shapes, sizes, genders and each with his or her own set of reasons for bullying. It's up to you to take control.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us!

Please remember that all web-based polls are not scientific because the pollsters cannot randomly select the respondents to participate in the surveys.

All our surveys are anonymous; check out our privacy policy. All data copyright 1996-2000.


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