The latest survey data from Provision Promise highlights how prevalent hygiene bullying has become in schools. According to over 100 participants in our survey, 66% of teachers said they had observed students getting bullied in school due to hygiene issues.
These survey results paint a grim picture, as 23% of teachers report that hygiene bullying occurs frequently. Meanwhile, 43% of teachers reported seeing incidents of hygiene-related bullying a least once, though not frequently.
The inverse of this data might be even more alarming to consider. Only 33% of teachers said they did not see hygiene bullying in school. Or in other words, roughly seven of every ten teachers said they had seen hygiene bullying.
Along with the teachers in our survey who witnessed bullying, we also know bullying occurs in locker rooms and hallways where students aren't always supervised. This destructive behavior creates trauma that impacts a student's mental health and success rate in school. Eliminating hygiene poverty for students reduces their chances of being bullied.
Regardless of grade level — from elementary to post-grad — providing students with access to essential items they can't afford (like soap, shampoo, and toothpaste) will help them be healthier, avoid bullying, and do better in school.
The survey included feedback from 20% of teachers who taught in a high school and 30% who taught in a two-year, four-year, or post-graduate college program. Elementary and middle school teachers combined to make up 50% of teachers polled.
Risks of Hygiene Bullying
Helping students access essential hygiene items could protect them from bullying. Hygiene bullying creates a hostile learning environment that impacts mental health, attendance rates, and academic performance.
Hygiene bullying can lead to anxiety, depression, and social withdrawal. But we can prevent these issues in our community by making essential hygiene items available to those in need.
“This data shows that providing hygiene items to at-risk students lowers their chances of being bullied in school,” Provision Promise founder Antonella Pisani said. “Bullying prevention is one more reason to act now and support those living in hygiene poverty.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to pursue an education without being bullied. This survey demonstrates another pressing reason for action.
Learn more by exploring this hygiene insecurity survey on community colleges:
"Provision Promise surveyed over 100 community college students and found that a shocking 45% of students skipped class because they didn't have access to basic hygiene products. Almost a third of these students (29%) said they skipped class more than once a month due to hygiene poverty."