Antibullying Initiatives: An Update on Federal Legislation

By Vaillancourt, Kelly M. | National Association of School Psychologists. Communique, June 2012 | Go to article overview

Antibullying Initiatives: An Update on Federal Legislation


Vaillancourt, Kelly M., National Association of School Psychologists. Communique


Bullying in schools has taken center stage in public debate surrounding school legislation and policy over the past decade. Arguably, the catalyst for the increased attention to the issue of bullying was the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999. This incident led to the creation of a host of new legislation aimed at combating school violence and addressing bullying in the schools, a trend that has recently been reignited by a number of highly visible suicides linked to bullying and harassment. Over the past 10 years, the body of research documenting the negative and long-term consequences of bullying has grown substantially, placing increased pressure on schools, school systems, and governments to develop and implement effective policies and practices to address bullying. As school psychologists, we are in an excellent position to help design and implement universal systems of support so that all students feel safe and supported. In addition, it is our ethical responsibility to ensure that all students have the chance to learn in an environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, aggression, violence, and abuse. Part of this responsibility involves advocating for legislation and policy development designed to reduce bullying in our schools. This article will provide an update on the activities happening at the federal level and within NASP so that you can become a more active advocate for all students.

WHAT IS BULLYING?

Dr. Dan Owleus, a leader in bullying research, defines bullying as a relationship that is marked by a real or perceived power imbalance where one or more people act aggressively over time with the intent to harm others. Bullying can be physical (e.g., hitting, taking someone's belongings), verbal (e.g., making threats, name calling), relational (e.g., spreading rumors, purposefully excluding someone), and electronic (e.g., texting, social media outlets). Although it can be difficult to tell the difference, teasing is not considered bullying. Teasing usually involves two or more people who are acting in a way that seems fun and playful, the teasing goes both ways, and it does not involve the intent to hurt others. Conversely, bullying often involves those who are not friends and the behavior is one-sided (Owleus, 1993).

There are large numbers of students who report being bullied. Results of the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed that 20% of students had experienced some form of bullying in the past year (CDC, 2010). Most students (85%) who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender reported being verbally harassed, 40% reported being physically harassed, and 19% reported being physically assaulted at school because of their sexual orientation (Kosciw, Greytak, Diaz, & Bartkiewicz, 2010). In addition, students with disabilities are significantly more likely to be victims of bullying when compared to their nondisabled peers (National Council on Disability, 2011). There is a growing body of evidence that indicates that bullying can result in long-term psychological difficulties such as depression, anxiety, aggression, and increased risk of suicide (Klomek, Marrocoo, Kleinman, Schoneeld, & Gould, 2007). There are academic consequences as well. Students who are chronically bullied showdecreased interest in school, have trouble concentrating, feel less connected and engaged in school, and demonstrate lower academic achievement (You et al., 2008). The negative outcomes associated with bullying extend beyond the victims. Students who engage in bullying behavior have higher rates of substance abuse, poorer social skills, increased mental health difficulties, and a higher risk for criminal involvement as adults (O'Brennan, Bradshaw, and Sawyer, 2009). For some students, the situation is so bad that they skip school entirely. All students deserve to attend school in a safe, respectful, and caring environment that supports academic achievement, mental health, and social-emotional development. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Antibullying Initiatives: An Update on Federal Legislation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.