CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia students are most likely to be bullied and harassed in middle school, according to a new report.
Slightly more than half of all reported incidents of bullying, harassment and intimidation happened at middle schools across the state. High schools reported 26 percent of bullying cases, while elementary schools had the fewest bullying incidents -- 18 percent.
"The middle schools, that's where it occurs," said state schools Superintendent Jim Phares. "Part of it is the growth and lack of maturity of the students."
West Virginia schools reported 6,313 cases in which students were disciplined for bullying, harassment and intimidation during the 2011-12 school year, the latest period for which data are available.
Bullying made up about 3 percent of all disciplinary infractions at schools statewide.
About a third of those bullying reports involved harassment based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
Nearly three quarters -- 73 percent -- of students disciplined for bullying were boys.
Phares said no student should be subjected to bullying.