I'm not sure I would say it's a "bigger issue" per se but it is being talked about more often these days. In past generations parents simply told their kids to fight back and if something awful occurred it was pretty much a "local story" if it made it to the news outlets at all.
Today with Youtube, Internet access, and Social Networks...etc a local story can go "viral" almost instantly. The next thing you know there is a discussion on "The Today Show", "Good Morning America", "The View", or "Oprah"
Bullying use to be something that happened on or near school grounds. Today it's a 24 hour activity through the use of cell phones text messages, emails, Twitter, MySpace, and Face Book. It appears more kids are driven to suicide than in the past. (Of course this may not be true but rather it's more news worthy than before,)
Lastly in past generations there were far less GUNS and KNIVES brought to school. Bullying rarely rose to the level of (life and death). When it did it was usually because the kid who got bullied "snapped" one day.
Parents, Teachers, and School officials have to be on the same page. It's time they stopped looking at "bullying" and "teen sexual harassment/violence" as part of the growing up process. I recently addressed this in a hub.