Be the Change, Stop Bullying & Cyberbullying


Bullying Based on Race

More than 1/3 of adolescents reporting bullying report bias-based school bullying (Russell, Sinclair, Poteat, & Koenig, 2012).

Bias-based bullying is more strongly associated with compromised health than general bullying (Russell, Sinclair, Poteat, & Koenig, 2012).

Race-related bullying is significantly associated with negative emotional and physical health effects (Rosenthal et al, 2013).



Bullying Based on Weight

64% of students enrolled in weight-loss programs reported experiencing weight-based victimization (Puhl, Peterson, & Luedicke, 2012).

1/3 of girls and one fourth of boys report weight-based teasing from peers, but prevalence rates increase to approximately 60% among the heaviest students (Puhl, Luedicke, & Heuer, 2011).

84% of students observed students perceived as overweight being called names or getting teased during physical activities (Puhl, Luedicke, & Heuer, 2011).



Bullying Based on Sexual Orientation

For bullied youth who identify as LGBTQ, they are less likely to face adverse consequences of bullying if they can identify one supportive adult in the school they trust (Morin et al., 2015).

In 2015, a higher percentage (34% vs. 19%) of self-identified gay, lesbian, or bisexual students than of self-identified heterosexual students reported that they had been bullied on school property during the previous 12 months. Similarly, with respect to electronic bullying, a higher percentage (28% vs. 14%) of gay, lesbian, or bisexual students reported being electronically bullied during the previous 12 months in 2015 than did heterosexual students (U.S. Department of Education & U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, 2017).

28% of students overall who reported being in a physical fight anywhere and on school property during the previous 30 days were higher for self-identified gay, lesbian, or bisexual students (U.S. Department of Education & U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, 2017).

Race and sexual orientation were the categories of motivating bias most frequently associated with hate crimes in 2014 (U.S. Department of Education & U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, 2017).

A 2009 survey of 7,000 LGBT aged 13-21 revealed that because of their sexual orientation (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014):

  • 8 of 10 students had been verbally harassed at school
  • 4 of 10 had been physically harassed at school
  • 6 of 10 felt unsafe at school
  • 1 of 5 had been the victim of a physical assault at school

A national study of middle and high school students revealed 61% of LGBT students were more likely than their non-LGBT peers to feel “unsafe or uncomfortable as a result of their sexual orientation.” Over 25% of LGBT students reported missing classes or days of school because of feeling unsafe (CDC, 2014).

A nationally representative study of adolescents in grades 7–12 found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide as their heterosexual peers (CDC, 2014).

Compared with young adults who experienced very little or no parental rejection, LGBT young adults who experienced high levels of rejection were (CDC, 2014):

  • Nearly 6 times as likely to have high levels of depression;
  • More than 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide;
  • More than 3 times as likely to use illegal drugs; and
  • More than 3 times as likely to engage in unprotected sexual behaviors that put them at increased risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.


85% of LGBT youth reported experiencing some form of bullying or harassment at school (Zweig, Dank, Lachman & Yahner, 2013).

84.9% of students heard “gay” used in a negative way (“That’s so gay”) frequently or often at school and 91.4% reported they felt upset because of this language (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, 2012)

71.3% of students heard other homophobic remarks (“dyke” or “faggot”) frequently or often (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, 2012).

61.4% of students heard negative remarks about gender expression (“not man enough” or “not feminine enough”) frequently or often (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, 2012).

56.9% of students reported hearing homophobic remarks from their teacher or other school staff (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, 2012).

Peer victimization of all youth was less likely to occur in schools with bullying policies that are inclusive of LGBTQ students (Hatzenbuehler & Keyes, 2012).

81.9% of students who identify as LGBTQ were bullied in the last year based on their sexual orientation (National School Climate Survey, 2011).

63.5% of students feel unsafe because of their sexual orientation, and 43.9% because of their gender expression (National School Climate Survey, 2011).

31.8% of LGBTQ students missed at least one entire day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable (National School Climate Survey, 2011).



Bullying Based on Disabilities

Students with specific learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, emotional and behavior disorders, other health impairments, and speech or language impairments report greater rates of bullying than their peers without disabilities (Rose and Gage, 2017).

Students with disabilities reported feeling depressed even more frequently (Eagan et al., 2014).

More than 22% of students on the autism spectrum or with Asperger’s syndrome reported being depressed frequently (Eagan et al., 2014).

Just over 15% of students with learning disabilities reported frequently feeling depressed (Eagan et al., 2014). 

When reporting bullying, youth in special education were told not to tattle almost twice as often as youth not in special education (Davis & Nixon, 2010).

The National Autistic Society reports that 40% of children with autism and 60% of children with Asperger’s syndrome have experienced bullying (National Autistic Society, 2011).

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