Bullying and Cyberbullying

February 2, 2018 • Volume 28, Issue 5
Are schools doing enough to protect victims?
By Susan Ladika


Melissa Martinez of Thornton, Colo. (Cover: Getty Images/The Denver Post/Andy Cross)
Melissa Martinez of Thornton, Colo., says cyberbullying was a factor when her 13-year-old daughter, Isabella, killed herself last year. Reports of cyberbullying among K-12 students are on the rise. Children who are bullied in person or online are more than twice as likely as other children to take their own life. (Cover: Getty Images/The Denver Post/Andy Cross)

An increasing share of K-12 schools in the United States are reporting incidents of online bullying, sometimes with tragic consequences. Victims as young as 8 have taken their lives after being persecuted by mean-spirited rumors and personal attacks posted on social media sites. Bullying victims also are more likely than other students to bring a gun to school, sparking renewed debate over whether states and schools are doing enough to prevent harassing behavior. As recent court rulings show, however, policymakers and school administrators face big challenges in crafting anti-bullying laws and policies that do not violate students' free-speech rights, especially when bullying occurs off-campus. Parents are filing lawsuits that claim school officials failed to protect their children from bullies. President Trump's critics, meanwhile, contend some students have mimicked his anti-immigration rhetoric in taunting minority classmates. Bullying also continues to be an issue for adult victims, affecting millions of workers, especially women, in offices and factories.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Education Issues
Jun. 21, 2019  Title IX and Campus Sexual Assault
May 17, 2019  School Safety
Feb. 02, 2018  Bullying and Cyberbullying
Feb. 03, 2017  Civic Education
Sep. 05, 2014  Race and Education
Jun. 13, 2014  Dropout Rate
May 09, 2014  School Discipline
Mar. 07, 2014  Home Schooling
Dec. 02, 2011  Digital Education
Nov. 15, 2011  Expanding Higher Education
Dec. 10, 2010  Preventing Bullying Updated
Apr. 16, 2010  Revising No Child Left Behind
Mar. 26, 2010  Teen Pregnancy
Sep. 04, 2009  Financial Literacy
Jun. 05, 2009  Student Rights
Feb. 22, 2008  Reading Crisis?
Jul. 13, 2007  Students Under Stress
Apr. 27, 2007  Fixing Urban Schools Updated
Nov. 10, 2006  Video Games Updated
Mar. 03, 2006  AP and IB Programs
Oct. 07, 2005  Academic Freedom
Aug. 26, 2005  Evaluating Head Start
May 27, 2005  No Child Left Behind
Jan. 17, 2003  Home Schooling Debate
Sep. 06, 2002  Teaching Math and Science
Jun. 07, 2002  Grade Inflation
Dec. 07, 2001  Distance Learning
Apr. 20, 2001  Testing in Schools
May 14, 1999  National Education Standards
Apr. 10, 1998  Liberal Arts Education
Jul. 26, 1996  Attack on Public Schools
May 17, 1996  Year-Round Schools
Oct. 20, 1995  Networking the Classroom
Sep. 22, 1995  High School Sports
Jan. 20, 1995  Parents and Schools
Sep. 09, 1994  Home Schooling
Mar. 25, 1994  Private Management of Public Schools
Mar. 11, 1994  Education Standards
Apr. 09, 1993  Head Start
Nov. 30, 1990  Conflict Over Multicultural Education
Feb. 05, 1988  Preschool: Too Much Too Soon?
Oct. 23, 1987  Education Reform
Aug. 24, 1984  Status of the Schools
Sep. 10, 1982  Schoolbook Controversies
Sep. 03, 1982  Post-Sputnik Education
Aug. 18, 1978  Competency Tests
Jan. 26, 1972  Public School Financing
Nov. 03, 1971  Education for Jobs
Apr. 15, 1970  Reform of Public Schools
Aug. 27, 1969  Discipline in Public Schools
Dec. 27, 1968  Community Control of Public Schools
Jun. 14, 1965  Summer School Innovations
Oct. 28, 1964  Education of Slum Children
Jun. 05, 1963  Year-Round School
Mar. 28, 1962  Mentally Retarded Children
Dec. 17, 1958  Educational Testing
Sep. 25, 1957  Liberal Education
Jul. 11, 1956  Educational Exchange
Feb. 02, 1955  Federal Aid for School Construction
Mar. 07, 1951  Education in an Extended Emergency
Nov. 20, 1945  Postwar Public Education
Nov. 07, 1941  Standards of Education
Diversity Issues
Early Childhood Education
Education Policy
Freedom of Speech and Press
Internet and Social Media
Mental Health
Students and Social Life