Bullying laws lack teeth and monitoring
Even though 44 states ban school bullying, enforcement and data collection is deficient. Most states require school districts to have policies that prohibit harassment and bullying. But only a few require data gathering or regular reporting of results. Consequently, bullying continues unchecked and under-investigated.
State legislatures and school districts may be looking to change their policies with the increase of reported bullying incidents. In a study of 55 million students, nearly a third from ages 12 to 18 reported having been bullied in 2007. (National Center for Education Statistics) That’s up from 1 in 10 students in the 1990s.
A recent and more insidious method of bullying is by electronic means – over the Internet or cell phone. Cyberbullying laws exist in at least two dozen states with legislation pending in others. Suicides this past year by children as young as ten have some professionals looking closer at depression and bullying as contributing factors.
Source: Education Week, September 14, 2009. For more see, http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_BULLYING_LAWS?SITE=ININS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT