October is National Bullying Prevention Month, so it’s a great time to promote anti-bullying activities. Although it’s well known that bullying is a widespread problem that can have serious implications on students’ academic and non-academic well-being, the anti-bullying and cyberbullying legislative mandates districts must follow are complex and can be hard to navigate. To get a better grip on a district’s bullying prevention responsibilities, eSchool News spoke with Tina Hegner, manager of research and development at PublicSchoolWORKS. In her role, Hegner researches and interprets state and federal legislation to help districts meet existing and new requirements.
Q: Who is responsible for making bullying legislation—the federal government or individual states?
A: There is not a federal law that specifically addresses bullying. However, if a bullying or cyberbullying incident concerns a student’s race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion, it may overlap with discriminatory harassment and federal civil rights laws such as Title II, Title VI, Title IX, or Section 504. In these cases, federally funded districts—so pretty much every public school district in the country—are legally obligated to address the incident.…Read More