New Jersey public school students endured 12,024 instances of bullying, harassment and intimidation last school year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Department of Education that offers the most detailed portrait to date of how and why students are tormented in the classroom.
Driven by the requirements of a tough new anti-bullying law, the number of incidents reported during the 2011-12 school year increased four-fold over the previous year. Under the new law, students can report bullying anonymously and districts are required to document and investigate every accusation.
The new statistics also paint a picture of which students were targeted most frequently. Nearly 10 percent of victims reported taunting because of their gender. In 8.4 percent of incidents, students were bullied because of their race, and in 9.4 percent of the cases, the harassment was because of a student’s mental or physical disability, the report said.