Press Room

How Can Communication Address School Bullying and Student Safety Issues?

May 17, 2017
Experts Available
Bullying, Education

Washington, DC (May 16, 2017) — A new report from the National Center for Education Statistics on school crime and safety examines the prevalence of victimization at school among students ages 12 to 18, including bullying. While the percentage of students overall who reported being bullied at school decreased from 28 percent in 2005 to 21 percent in 2015, the study shows there is much room for improvement: in 2015, 15 percent of U.S. fourth-graders and 7 percent of U.S. eighth-graders reported they had experienced bullying at least once a month. Additionally, a higher percentage of self-identified gay, lesbian, or bisexual students than heterosexual students reported being bullied on school property. Students also reported on the extent to which bullying negatively affected how they felt about themselves, how it affected relationships with friends and family, and how it affected their physical health.

A relational communication scholar is available to discuss the findings of the report, and how communication research can be applied to address issues of student safety and the educational process, including, but not limited to:      

  • How can communication research about bullying be utilized within the educational system to increase awareness?
  • What takeaways from the report can scholars across disciplines use to inspire further research on issues of student culture and safety?
  • How powerful is the role of communication in shaping how bullying is performed and the consequences it has on the well-being of students? 
  • In what ways do communication scholars have a role to play in advocating for stronger anti-bullying strategies and messaging within schools?
  • Can communication help solve the problem of bullying?


Keith Berry, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of South Florida

Berry’s research focuses on relational communication, culture, and identity, particularly within three applied communication contexts: bullying, LGBTQ cultures, and personal narrative. He is the author of the award-winning book, Bullied: Tales of Torment, Identity, and Youth, and is the co-chair of the National Communication Association’s Anti-Bullying Task Force. He has been interviewed by multiple television, print, and radio outlets on the topics of bullying and anti-bullying prevention.


To schedule an interview with Dr. Berry, please contact Jenna Sauber at or 202-534-1104.

About the National Communication Association

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances Communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems. NCA supports inclusiveness and diversity among our faculties, within our membership, in the workplace, and in the classroom; NCA supports and promotes policies that fairly encourage this diversity and inclusion.

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