Lead researchers H. Wesley Perkins at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., and colleagues used anonymous online surveys conducted with more than 10,000 middle-school students.
Their research found that within the most recent month, 43 percent had been physically bullied; 51 percent teased in an unfriendly way; 50 percent called hurtful names; 31 percent excluded from a group to hurt their feelings; 28 percent had belongings taken or broken; 39 percent had an unkind rumor spread about them; and 21 percent were threatened to be hurt.
One out of four students had skipped recess, not gone to the bathroom, lunch or a class, pretended to be sick, went home or avoided a hallway to get away from a bully, the researchers said.
Fifty percent to 57 percent of bullying occurred in the classroom, lunchroom and hallways.
"These findings show that it is erroneous to think of the classroom as a safe haven from bullying and to think that more remote or less monitored areas of school are necessarily the greatest risk for students," Perkins said in a statement.
The findings were presented at the American Public Health Association's 137th annual meeting & exposition in Philadelphia.