Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Bullying & State Law: Examining Associations between Anti-Bullying Statutes & School Safety Outcomes for Students
Vitto Mendez

While state legislatures have enacted laws to address bullying among youth, there is wide variability in the provisions that are included in each state’s statutes. This study analyzes state statutes for the presence and strength of various anti-bullying legal provisions. It then examines associations between these provisions and the probability of a high school student being bullied, cyberbullied, and missing school due to safety concerns. The study captures the landscape of state anti-bullying laws as of September 2018, and provides some evidence regarding the types of legal provisions that appear most effective at protecting students from bullying and other detrimental outcomes. This study finds that a protective definition of bullying, inclusion of all types of bullying, staff reporting requirements, counseling requirements, prohibitions on retaliation, publicly available data, and training for school staff are significantly associated both with a decreased probability of a student being bullied as well as cyberbullied.

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