Police are called to investigate everything from cyber-bullying and schoolyard fights to brutal hazing rituals, and tormenters can be prosecuted under anti-bullying laws in dozens of states, the Associated Press reports. Parents aren’t afraid to confront school officials or take the matter to court, and schools are training students and teachers alike to spot and report bullying.
Thirty-two percent of students ages 12 to 18 had experienced bullying within the past school year in 2007, says a report by the federal departments of education and justice. That number was slightly higher than the year before – though officials say it’s not because bullying is more frequent, but because it’s more often reported. In a Tampa middle school locker room, prosecutors say four flag football players held down a teammate and raped him with a hockey stick and a broom handle.