High School

9th Grade through 12th Grade


Congratulations, you have made it to high school and according to research bullying decreases as you get older. This is supported here in Illinois through the Bullying Facts section showing data specific to the Illinois Youth Survey.

What is Bullying?

TeensHealth provides a great resource for you to better understand bullying in the teen years. Bullying at this age has similar characteristics as it did in the younger years, including the following types of bullying: physical, verbal, psychosocial, sexual, and cyberbullying. There are many misunderstandings about what is and what isn't bullying. Here is a resource (pdf) to help you understand the different.

What do I do if I see someone being bullied? (pdf)

The message is the same across age groups. Don't be a bystander, this doesn't mean you engage the bully in a physical way, no fighting. Use your words either by telling the bully to stop, they are being rude, or by telling a trusting adult. Use your feet and walk away. Sometimes we ask how do bullies pick their victim?

TeensHealth provides resources about this topic. The are available in English and Spanish.

What do I do if I'm being bullied?

PBS-In The Mix provides the following list of steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Don't ignore it.
  • Don't fight back. Becoming a bully, yourself will not make the situation better.
  • Try to not to show anger or fear. Bullies like to see that they can upset you.
  • Calmly tell the bully to stop, or just say nothing and walk away.
  • If the bullying continues, keep a record of the incidents to show to a parent or teacher.
  • Tell your parents, or any other adults you trust. Telling a trusted adult about bullying is not tattling.
  • You are not alone,
  • Don't isolate yourself form your friends. They can support you and help you get through it.

You are not alone in your struggles to overcome bullying. Check out this weblink to Celebrity Bullying Stories. PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center (pdf) offers a questioner to help you determine if you are being bullied.

Bullying Facts:

  • The Illinois Youth Survey (pdf) provides the following statistics about high school students who completed the survey. In the past 12 months students reported:
    • 31% of 10th graders and 23% of 12th graders reported one type of bullying.
    • 23% of 10th graders and 15% of 12th graders reported being bullied by name calling,
    • 14% of 10th graders and 10% of 12th graders reported being threatened with physical violence,
    • 8% of 10th graders and 5% of 12th graders reported being physically bullied
    • 19% of 10th graders and 15% of 12th graders reported some form of cyberbullying.

Why do teens bully?

There are many reasons why someone becomes a bully, it's never ok and there are things that can help the person change. Here are just a few:

  • Sometimes bullies don't understand that their behavior is wrong, they may lack empathy, kindness, compassion or respect.
  • Some kids bully because they are bullied themselves.
  • Some kids bully as a way to protect themselves and feel like they are in control. They may be unhappy, fell they need to defend themselves, may have been abused or neglected.
  • TeensHealth indicates bullies may be: outgoing and aggressive, quiet and sneaky, or friendly and fake.

Are you concerned that you might be a bully? Take the quiz (pdf).

What are the effects of Bullying on the Victim?

Did you know that bullying can have both short- and long-term effects on the victim? Some of the effects are:

  • Social Isolation
  • Physical Issues: This can be an injury caused by a bullying event, or the victim might experience stomach aches, headaches changes in eating and sleeping.
  • Emotional Issues: such as feelings include fear, anxiety, and depression, which can turn into an actual diagnosis if help is not provided.
  • Behavioral Issues: engaging in socially unacceptable behaviors such as alcohol or drug use, acting out in school or the community in such a way that the victim is at risk for engaging in more dangerous behaviors resulting in delinquency or criminal behavior.
  • Some victims are so desperate to escape the situation, they think about hurting themselves or attempt suicide. The research on bullying and suicide continues to grow, knowing the warning signs can save yourself or a friend/classmate.

How do I stop bullying in my school?