Children are Successful in School (Statewide) Download Data

Bullying and Harassment: # of Bullying or Harassment Incidents Reported


Story Behind the Curve

During the 2016-2017 school year, 6,091 incidents of bullying, harassment, or intimidation were reported in Maryland’s public schools using the reporting system mandated by the Safe Schools Reporting Act of 2005. All school systems, and the SEED School of Maryland, reported bullying incidents. Consistent with previous reports, most victims and perpetrators were middle-school age.  The majority of victims, 56.2 percent, reported being teased, called names, or threatened, while 47.6 percent of the reported incidents involved a physical attack. The most frequently reported motives included, “just to be mean” (30.3%), “to impress others” (12.8%), and physical appearance (5.8%). There was a considerable amount of alleged motives captured under the categories titled “unknown” (28.9%) and “another reason” (16.6%). 

Bullying acts were most likely to occur on school property (83.7%), and investigation of incidents primarily involved interviewing the victim, offender, witnesses, victim’s parent/guardian, or teachers and/or other school staff. The data demonstrates that 8.0 percent of incidents resulted in an out-of-school suspension or expulsion, while 7.3 percent of incidents resulted in in-school suspensions, which is an overall increase of 1.9 percent from last year.  Nearly 14 percent of victims (13.8%), reportedly missed school as a result of the bullying incident compared to 14.2 percent of alleged offenders.

What Works

The MSDE will continue to assist LEAs as they develop and implement system-wide and school-wide programs of prevention and intervention to address bullying, harassment, or intimidation. It is important that school systems continue to educate staff, students, and parents about bullying, harassment, and intimidation and provide resources for bullying prevention, encourage victims to report incidents when they occur, notify parents immediately when incidents occur, and follow up with investigations. More information about Maryland’s efforts to reduce bullying incidents and the 2018 General Assembly report can be found on the Maryland State Department of Education’s website at:

Local Highlight

Bullying prevention models and frameworks such as Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS), Olweus, Character Counts, Restorative Practices, and Two Way Texting are used throughout the LEAs. Anti-bullying programming has heightened awareness of the issue among school communities. Increased community understanding may be a contributing factor to the overall increase in reported incidents.

All twenty-four LEAs have implemented system-wide and school-wide bullying awareness and prevention programs. All twenty-four LEAs have a Bullying and Harassment form online. Forms can now be filled out and submitted electronically.

Data Discussion

Total number of bullying, intimidation, or harassment incidents reported, by academic year. In Maryland, bullying, harassment and intimidation means intentional verbal, physical, or written conduct or electronic communication that creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities, performance, or with a student’s physical or psychological well-being.

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) requires all county boards of education and the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners to report bullying, harassment, or intimidation against students in public schools under the county board's and commission’s jurisdiction to the Maryland General Assembly.  

Scorecard Result Program Indicator Performance Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S R I P PM A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy