• Christina Delgado, M.Ed.

Bullying and Special Ed

Greetings my beautiful followers! So today's topic of bullying is never a fun one, but none-the-less, it needs to be addressed an discussed. Unfortunetly, it seems that bullying is only happening more frequently and through various platforms now-a-days, with he use of technology and social media. Although bullying happens to an array of kids varying in age, gender, demographics,ethinicity, etc, it is more prevalent amongst those who are special needs. Below you will find information that defines bullying, discusses the 4 types of bullying, special needs bullying statistics, informative anti-bullying resources and solutions, and articles which address research-based data pertaining to bullying.

Bark App (Read Me!):

Does this high-tech world filled with technology and tweeting, and posting and sending pictures through the phone borderline terrify you? It definitely terrifies me. It is not like back in the day where if there was a bully at school you could escape them when going home and they had to have the courage to bully you to your face. Unforntely, in today's high-tech world, it is easier than ever to be bullied or be a bully from your own home while behind a screen. So as a tool to help separate children from the cyberbullying, I found an App called "Bark".

Bark works as a parental control tracker and offers parents the opportunity to keep their kids safe online and prevent cyberbullying. Now, some parents may find this to be a invasion of privacy, but I was raised with the mentality that if I am under 18 and living in my parents house, then I have no privacy. Plus, what are they doing on there that is so secretive anyways?! And hello, you're the parent, not them. They say that brain isn't fully developed until 25 years old (which is why you can't rent a car until your 25 years old), so until then, mama over here has to be the part of their brain that hasn't developed yet. I don't know, call me nosy, but I think that this app seems like a great idea and I am putting this on my kid's electronic devices ASAP. And added bonus, it's only $6.75 a month! That's the best $6.75/monthly I will ever be spending!

For $6.75 a month, you can use the "Bark" app, which allows parents to do the following:

1) Monitor: Connect to 24 platforms to monitor text messages, emails, and social activity for signs of harmful interactions and content.

2) Detect: Get automatic alerts via email and text when Bark’s algorithms detect potential risks, so you don’t have to comb through every post and text.

3) Altert: Our expert recommendations make it easy for parents to talk to kids about digital dangers and other sensitive online issues.

* For more about Bark, visit their website at: https://www.bark.us/#how

What is Bullying?:

According to Stopbullying.gov, bullying is defined as, "Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious lasting problems." Actions are only considered bullying when there is an imbalance of power and the behaviors are repetitivly occurring. 

Bullying includes:

- Threats

- Spreading rumors

- Attacking someone physically

- Attacking someone verbally

- Intentionally excluding someone from a group

Let's break it down...Bullying can be broken down into 4 categories: Verbal, social, physical, and cyberbullying.

Verbal bullying includes:



Inappropriate sexual comments


Threatening to cause harm

Social bullying includes:

Leaving someone out on purpose

Telling other children not to be friends with someone

Spreading rumors about someone

Embarrassing someone in public

 Physical bullying includes:




Taking or breaking someone’s things

Making mean or rude hand gestures


Takes place over digital devices​ while sending, posting, or sharing false, negative, mean or harmful content about another person. Another form of cyberbullying is sharing personal or private information about another person, causing embarrassment and/or humiliation. 

Cell phones, computers, and tablets, SMS, Text, apps, Social Media, email, Instant Message

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter.

Statistics of Bullying:

The information provided below was gathered from an array of accredited websites, peer-reviewed articles, and sources. These statistics reflect schooling across the  United States.

- 280,000 students in secondary school are physically attacked monthly in schools.

- 160,000 students do not attend school daily due to fear of bullying.

- 77 % of students experience bullying in one or more of the following capacities: Mentally, physically, verbally, and/ or cyber.

- 43% of students fear harassment when utilizing the school bathroom. 

- Every seven minutes a child is bullied.

- One of four students is abused by another youth.

- One in five students admit to being a bully or being apart of a bullying situation.​

- 30% of students who reported they had been bullied said they had at times brought weapons to school.

- A bully is 6 times more likely to be incarcerated by the age of 24.

- A bully is 5 times more likely to have a serious criminal record when he grows up.

- 2/3 of students who are targets become bullies.

- 20% of all children say they have been bullied.

- Although only 10 U.S. studies have been conducted on the connection between bullying and developmental disabilities, all of these studies found that children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers.


Bullying and Special Ed Facts:

- According to a study by the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (2013), which included over 1,000 families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), 38 percent of families had children who reported being bullied within the past month.

28 percent said they were continuously bullied. 9 percent of children with ASD admitted to be bullies themselves. Approximately 5 percent admitted to bully others often.

Nearly 70 percent of students with autism who were bullied stated that they had experienced emotional trauma as a result.

- According to Samuels (2014), the rates stated by the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (2013) were higher than other data that had been recorded in a 2001 study on American youths. The 2001 report claimed that approximately 30 percent of all children reported "moderate or frequent" involvement in bullying, either as a victim or as a perpetrator (Samuels, 2014).

- According to Marshall, Kendall, Banks, & Gover (2009), students with disabilities receive 2-3 times more bullying than typically developing students. 

- The following states do not have bullying laws in place: Montana, Illinois, North Dakota, Alaska, and South Dakota.

- The following actions are the most common types of bullying:

- Hitting

- Threatening

- Taunting

- Teasing

- Name calling

- Stealing/damaging property

- Sexual remarks

- Indirect attacks (such as: rumors or intentionally excluding/ rejecting others.)

- The School Psychology Quarterly (2012) study defined bullying as "Repeated exposure to aggressive acts over time intended to cause physical harm, psychological distress, or humiliation." This study found that the bullying rates amongst children with disabilities ranged from approximately 24 percent in elementary school students to 34 percent for high school students. That is nearly 1.5 times the rate of bullying experienced by students without disabilities (School Psychology Quarterly, 2012).

- Florida is the first state to offer its public school students who have been bullied the opportunity to receive a voucher to attend private school free of cost. These vouchers are provided by the Hope Scholarship Program. The new voucher program is estimated to cost approximately $41 million, and could provide up to 5,800 students with vouchers to attend private schools free of charge. 

- In 2016, the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) created the Model Policy Against Bullying and Harassment.

- The FLDOE Model Policy Against Bullying and Harrassment can be found by clicking the following link: https://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/florida/index.html​ This document defines bullying, and states rule, regulations, and consequences which should be followed in the case of bullying in schools. There are an array of consequences that educators can choose to utilize once a student is guilty of bullying. This array ranges from positive behavioral interventions to suspension or even expulsion. These consequences were mentioned in the Code of Student Conduct (COC) (FLDOE, 2016). 

For more anti-bullying resources, information, and support, visit the sites below:

1) Stop Bullying - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.stopbullying.gov

2) PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center:


3) D.A.R.E.:


4) Stand for the Silent: https://standforthesilent.org/gclid=Cj0KCQjw9pDpBRCkARIsAOzRzivLcW-Ambd2xxlSmvkRq8BKNHrHYAEnjWac4O93ZxrvmV0ui0ktLfAaAlo_EALw_wcB

*Find out is your child's school has an anti-bullying program.

Be kind, be bold, be you!

Much Love,

Dr. D

Photo Credit:

American Institute for Research & Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study

(TIMSS). (2015). School Bullying: How Does the U.S. Compare Internationally?

Retrieved from www.air.org


Bully Police USA. (2017). www.bullypolice.org

Florida Department of Education. (2016) FLDOE Model Policy Against Bullying and

Harrassment. https://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/florida/index.html

Georgia Department of Education. (2010). The Policy for Prohibiting Bullying, Cyberbullying, 

Harassment, and Intimidation.


Keep Schools Safe - School Safety, Security, and Violence Prevention Resource. (2007).


Marshall, B., Kendall,E., Banks, C., & Gover, M. (2009). Disabilities: Insights from Across Fields and around the World. Westport, Conneticate: Pracger Publisher.

PACER's. Retrieved from https://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/students-with-disabilities/

Stop Bullying. gov. (2014). Florida Anti-Bullying Laws and Policies.


U.S. Department of Justice. Community Oriented Policing Services.


Walker, B., Clancy, M., Tsai, S., & Cheney, D. (2013). Bridging the Research-to-Practice Gap:

Empowering Staff to Implement Meaningful Program Evaluation and

                  Improvement to Better Serve Students With Emotional or Behavioral Disorders.

  Beyond Behavior, 22(3), 3-14. 

U.S. Department of Health and Services. (2017).


​*Legal disclaimer: All views expressed on this cite are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated to in the future. The content shown above is 100% my personal opinion and me and only me is responsible for the content expressed above.

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