Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

6 in 10 Americans Say They or Someone They Know Have Been Bullied

Vast majority of Americans believe that technology has made it easier to bully someone

NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- School bullying, unfortunately, continues to make regular appearances in both local and national headlines. While several prominent bullying incidents in recent years have led to an increase in efforts to combat the issue, it seems to persevere; use of social media and texting to bully peers adds to the complexity which communities face when trying to address the matter. And with six in ten U.S. adults (61%) feeling that bullying in schools today is more common than when they were in school, we as a society still clearly have our work cut out for us.

Harris Poll Logo.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,250 adults surveyed online between November 13 and 18, 2013. (Full results, including data tables, can be found here)

"This is an issue affecting a great many Americans, and there's a very real perception that it's getting worse," says Jen Loukes, vice president of the Harris Poll School Pulse, Harris Interactive's longstanding School Satisfaction study. "In our continued research into the many relationships and experiences which affect the scholastic 'ecosystem' – which we first examined in our recent study on respect between teachers, students and other K-12 'stakeholders' – we feel it's essential to discuss bullying and related issues which can so negatively impact the school experience."

School bullying hits home
Six in ten (60%) say that either they or someone they know have experienced (or are currently experiencing) bullying in school. This includes saying they personally recall being bullied when they were in school (44%), knowing someone else who either was (36%) or is currently being (6%) bullied in school, or having/being at least partly responsible for a child who has been or is being bullied in school (9%; 19% among those with school aged children).

What's more, among U.S. adults with children in school at the K-12 grade levels, over a third (35%) believe that bullying is a problem at their child's school.

Technology makes it easier – to make someone else's life harder
As several recent cases have demonstrated, bullying by proxy – whether via texting, social media or other methods – can be devastatingly effective without bullies even being in the same room as their targets. As such, it's perhaps not surprising that three-fourths of Americans (76%) believe that bullying in schools today is more emotional than physical. What's more, an overwhelming majority of U.S. adults (85%) agree – 65% strongly so – that technology has made it easier to bully someone.

But while students may be using tech to bully their peers while outside of school, and there are complex legal implications to consider when it comes to policing student activity off school grounds, a majority of Americans (59%) nonetheless believe that if a child is bullied outside of school, it is still the school's responsibility to address the situation.

Whose responsibility is it?
This leads to one of the issue's biggest challenges: whose responsibility is it, ultimately, to prevent or combat bullying? And does the answer to this question change based on whether it's bullying in schools or bullying via texts or social media that's under discussion?

When Americans are asked to identify the party or parties they feel should be most responsible for opposing bullying in these ways, the top response for both types of bullying is parents of children who bully (46%). Perceptions of the most responsible parties diverge from there:

  • When discussing bullying in schools, teachers (41%) and school administrators (34%) are the next most prevalent responses, followed by all students in the school (31%), students who bully (25%), all parents in the community (22%) and the parents of children being bullied (19%)
  • For bullying via social media or text, the next most common perspective is that social media sites (34%) should be among those most responsible for preventing or combating this type of bullying, followed by students who bully (25%), all parents in the community (24%), parents of children being bullied ((24%) and all students in the school (20%).

Taking a stand
A majority of Americans (59%) agree that there is more adult intervention for bullying in schools today than when they were in school, but whether this is perceived as a positive or a negative is unclear. In fact, just over half of U.S. adults (53%) believe that over-protecting school aged children could be bad for their ability to stand up for themselves.

But while exactly how to address the situation may still be under discussion, there are a few things Americans seem to consider off the table in this regard.

Few Americans seem to believe that bullying, particularly in schools, is a problem best addressed by attempting to legislate it away. When choosing up to three parties they see as most responsible for preventing or combating bullying in schools, local government (4%) state government (3%) and the federal government (3%) are the parties with the fewest finger pointing their way.

And while many bullying victims over the years have heard the old refrain that they should simply try to ignore their tormentors, there appears to be a consensus that this is not the right approach, with only 26% agreeing that a good strategy for handling bullying is to ignore it and nearly two-thirds (65%) disagreeing (46% strongly so).

For information regarding Harris Interactive's Harris Poll School Pulse satisfaction management tool, please contact [email protected].

To view the full findings, or to see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between November 13 and 18, 2013 among 2,250 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #17, February 19, 2014
By Larry Shannon-Missal, Harris Poll Research Manager

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll
On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
The Harris Poll
[email protected]


SOURCE Harris Poll

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
Achim Weiss is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of ProfitBricks. In 1995, he broke off his studies to co-found the web hosting company "Schlund+Partner." The company "Schlund+Partner" later became the 1&1 web hosting product line. From 1995 to 2008, he was the technical director for several important projects: the largest web hosting platform in the world, the second largest DSL platform, a video on-demand delivery network, the largest eMail backend in Europe, and a universal billing syste...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, will provide an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
As operational failure becomes more acceptable to discuss within the software industry, the necessity for holding constructive, actionable postmortems increases. But most of what we know about postmortems from "pop culture" isn't actually relevant for the software systems we work on and within. In his session at DevOps Summit, J. Paul Reed will look at postmortem pitfalls, techniques, and tools you'll be able to take back to your own environment so they will be able to lay the foundations for h...
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult - let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and li...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in high-performance, high-efficiency server, storage technology and green computing, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data ...
Containers are all the rage among developers and web companies, but they also represent two very substantial benefits to larger organizations. First, they have the potential to dramatically accelerate the application lifecycle from software builds and testing to deployment and upgrades. Second they represent the first truly hybrid-approach to consuming infrastructure, allowing organizations to run the same workloads on any cloud, virtual machine or physical server. Together, they represent a ver...
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity....
This week, the team assembled in NYC for @Cloud Expo 2015 and @ThingsExpo 2015. For the past four years, this has been a must-attend event for MetraTech. We were happy to once again join industry visionaries, colleagues, customers and even competitors to share and explore the ways in which the Internet of Things (IoT) will impact our industry. Over the course of the show, we discussed the types of challenges we will collectively need to solve to capitalize on the opportunity IoT presents.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Spirent Communications, the leader in testing navigation and positioning systems, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Spirent Communications enables innovations in communications technologies that help connect people. Whether it is service provider, data centers, enterprise IT networks, mobile communications, connected vehicles or the Inte...
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, al...