Nearly one in five students at New York City public high schools are bullied, according to a report released this month by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
In 2011, 18 percent of NYC public high school students reported that they had been bullied either on school property or online, the study found.
Bullying was not very different between girls and boys: 19 percent of girls and 17 percent of boys reported incidents of bullying.
Younger students were more likely to be bullied than older students. Twenty-one percent of ninth graders were bullied, compared to 18 percent of 10th graders and 16 percent of 11th and 12th graders.
The study found that gay students are more likely to be victims of bullying. Twenty-nine percent of lesbian, gay or bisexual students said they were bullied in 2011, compared to 17 percent of heterosexual students.
Among different racial and ethnic groups, there were no significant differences in the levels of bullying victimization. Twenty percent of white students, 17 percent of black students, 19 percent of Hispanic students and 16 percent of Asian students were bullied.
The study also examined the consequences of bullying. It found that youth who are bullied are more likely to smoke, drink and use drugs.
They are also twice as likely as non-bullied students to experience persistent sadness. An alarming 15 percent of bullied students attempt suicide, according to the report.
Bullied youth are more likely to carry a weapon to school than non-bullied youth – 16 percent to 7 percent. And students who are bullied are also three times more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe.
The city’s Department of Education recently launched Respect for All, an online resource center parents, teachers and students on how to deal with bullying.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has said ending bullying is a priority. Last year, he held an anti-bullying forum and called for a number of reforms in the way schools address bullying, including holding workshops on bullying prevention and examining bullying data to help monitor anti-bullying strategies.