Bullying emerges as a social blight and a religious debate

The 2010 suicide of a New Jersey college student whose intimate encounter with another man was broadcast on the Internet by two other students cast a spotlight on the problem of bullying and its often brutal consequences. Religious groups condemn hateful behavior like bullying but can differ on the solutions.

Some religious leaders and experts warn that religious rhetoric against homosexuality can feed anti-gay bullying, while others caution that including sexual orientation in laws against bullying could open the door to anti-discrimination statutes that would impinge religious freedom or advance gay rights that some religious groups oppose.

Anti-gay bullying is only part of the problem. 70% of students in America report having been bullied. The number rises to 90% among LGBT students. People who are bullied are nine times more likely to attempt suicide. 

Cyberbullying has become an increasingly prominent problem–in 2013, 1 out of 6 high school students is likely to experience cyberbullying. Bullying is rampant in American society. It occurs for a variety of reasons and in through a variety of  methods. This source guide provides journalists with resources for reporting on the problem.

Developments

Resources and background

  • CDC: Bullying

    Nearly a third of students in the sixth to 10th grades said in 2008 that they had either bullied students or been bullied, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and after physical appearance, homosexuality is considered the prime factor in bullying.

  • Bully Police USA

    Forty-nine states have anti-bullying laws, according to Bully Police USA, a watchdog organization composed of parents.

  • BullyingNoWay.com

    BullyingNoWay.com is an Australian website that has resources on combating bullying.

  • American Psychological Association: Bullying

    The American Psychological Association offers a resource page on bullying. It includes a definition of bullying and an archive of articles and books on the subject.

Articles, blog posts, media

Related source guides