Middle School Bullying

The Virginia Youth Violence Project assisted the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Albemarle/Charlottesville Project in their annual school climate and bullying surveys. A total of 3,387 students in grades 6-8 completed the School Climate Bullying Survey in the spring of 2012, achieving a participation rate of 90%. After validity screening, 3,069 surveys were used in this report.

The survey presents a standard definition of bullying:

Bullying is defined as the use of one’s strength or popularity to injure, threaten, or embarrass another person. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It is not bullying when two students of about the same strength argue or fight.

After reading this definition, students were asked whether they had been bullied in the past month “never,” “once or twice,” “about once per week” or “several times per week.” The survey also asked students if they had experienced specific forms of bullying (i.e. physical, verbal, social, and cyber).  By convention, the total percent who report being bullied at least once per week (“about once per week” plus “several times per week”) is used as an index of bullying.

The chart below presents the percentages of students who reported being bullied at least once per week in the past month. (In some cases a student did not report being bullied on the general question, but did report other bullying.)