Recent research published at http://edweek.org/ew/articles2016/10/05/shorter-school-grade-,...
seems to indicate that schools with a shorter grade span, i.e 6-8 vs. 6-12, are more likely to experience a greater number of bullying issues than schools with a larger grade span. Researchers at the University of Syracuse and universities in New York looked at 500 schools in New York and determined from bullying reports, student surveys and interviews that students in a 6-8 grade configuration had more incidents of bullying, lower math and reading achievement levels and a higher absenteeism rate. They attributed some of the issues to the closeness of age of the students, as well as, the changing hormones.
The research indicated that students in K-8 or 6-12 grade levels reported less bullying issues and a better feeling of safety while at school. David L. Hough, education professor at Missouri State University says, "When you have a lot of kids at close to the same age together, it's not as healthy environment (as a broader range)."
The article also indicated that grade configurations alone do not necessarily mean you will have less bullying issues and easier transitions between grade levels. School climate, culture,and community values will also play a huge roll in bullying related issues.
An interesting read, yet somewhat misleading in my opinion. While we do have some minor issues with bullying, most of what occurs at Salem Middle School does not meet the definition of bullying. Conflict management would be a more accurate description of issues that occur at Salem Middle School.