Scope and method of study. The purpose of this study is to understand the existing state legislation concerning bullying in schools to determine whether the development, structure, and content of these state mandates parallel any change in reported incidents of bullying by public schools in each of those states. This is a descriptive and qualitative report of states' bullying laws and their method of collecting discipline data from districts, including bullying.
Findings and conclusions. Despite legislative efforts toward reducing school violence, such as bullying, there is no relationship between the number of reported bullying incidents and the enactment of a bullying law. There is, however a marked decrease in incidents of school terrorism and hate crimes since 1999, a category that school shootings fall under. Bullying has been attributed as the cause of school shootings. There has been an increase in discipline reporting by most states with bullying laws, and in bullying, intimidation and harassment reporting. This focus on bullying prevention may be responsible for the reduction of school terrorist and hate crimes. There is a need for school safety reporting in a standardized way and for reporting mechanisms and benchmarks to be clearer. All discipline and school safety information should be made available to the public in an understandable and less punitive way. Bullying legislation needs to follow the example set by SDFSCA and empower communities through encouraging their involvement in establishing benchmarks and goals unique to their school for improvement. Community involvement is a fundamental factor that should be emphasized in future legislative language on school safety. Professional development, counseling services, and funding are also criteria to consider including in bullying prevention legislation. Successful bullying prevention processes should be shared with others to promote decreased school violence. There is also a need for increasing and improving the role of discipline data in planning strategies for improving school environments and safety.
|Advisor:||Mathers, Judith K., Stern, Kenneth|
|Commitee:||Krumm, Bernita, Neal, Dave|
|School:||Oklahoma State University|
|Department:||Education (all programs)|
|School Location:||United States -- Oklahoma|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||School administration, School counseling, Political science|
|Keywords:||Bullying, Discipline data, Prevention, Safe schools, State laws, Violence|
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