Bullying rose 6.7% in 2010 school year

Kyodo

The number of bullying cases recognized by public and private elementary, junior high and high schools nationwide in the 2010 academic year rose 6.7 percent from a year earlier to 77,630, according to an education ministry survey.

It was the first increase in five years. The number of such cases had been falling since the 2006 school year, when the ministry began collecting such data. An education official said the number rose as teachers became better at recognizing bullying.

The figures for the 2010 school year, which ended last March, reflect data from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures not available for preliminary survey results published in August due to the March 11 disasters.

The rate was 5.5 bullying cases per 1,000 students, up 0.4 percent from the previous year. Cases totaled 36,909 at elementary schools, 33,323 at junior high schools, 7,018 at high schools, and 380 at schools for the disabled, according to the survey.

The rate of cases being “resolved” after being detected by school authorities was 79.0 percent, down 0.5 percentage point from a year earlier, the ministry said.

Ridiculing and slandering accounted for most bullying cases, making up 66.8 percent, according to a multiple choice question in the survey. Being shunned by friends or groups was the next most common form of bullying at 20.8 percent.

The number of students who committed suicide totaled 156, down nine.