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Study Finds Certain Anti-Bullying Laws Are Effective in Preventing Bullying

Study Finds Certain Anti-Bullying Laws are Effective in Preventing Bullying

A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics has found that states with at least one Department of Education-recommended anti-bullying law are likely to have lower rates of bullying in its schools.

Using anti-bullying policy data from a 2011 Department of Education report and bullying data from 59,472 9th-12th grade students across the country, researchers found that states that developed and implemented anti-bullying policy had significantly lower rates of bullying.

"The researchers found that US states that adhered to at least one anti-bullying policy recommended by the DOE had a 24% lower rate of reported bullying and a 20% lower rate of reported cyberbullying, compared with states that did not adhere to such policies," said Medical News Today.

The study comes during National Bullying Prevention Month, a time dedicated to encouraging efforts to prevent bullying, particularly in America's schools.

"While the researchers admit that their study is only observational and cannot prove a causal link between implementation of DOE-recommended anti bullying policies and reduced risk for bullying and cyberbullying, they believe the findings indicate certain anti-bullying policies can help tackle bullying behaviors," the article said.

The DOE composed its guidance on anti-bullying policy, Anti-Bullying Policies: Examples of Provisions in State Laws, in 2011 in response to what it found to be "an information gap regarding anti-bullying laws and policies across the country." 

As a result, it created its guidance using the help of government officials, researchers, policymakers and education practitioners to help best assess policy to combat bullying in schools.

This study analyzing the effect the policy guide has had on schools since is the first to do so, and this early research indicates its effect has been positive.

Read the full story here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

10/12/2015

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