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School District Anti-Bullying Policies: a State-Wide Content Analysis

Abstract

Although all states in the United States require school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies, relatively little research explores the content of bullying policies. A content analysis of anti-bullying policies from 76 school districts across the State of Louisiana was conducted. A 63-item coding scheme was developed to guide the analysis. The overall compliance to the coding framework by the Louisiana school districts considered in this study was 64%, with many policies covering logistical aspects of bullying response such as definitions, reporting, investigating, monitoring, disseminating policies, and consequences for perpetrators. While many school districts addressed evidenced-based practices and mental health support for victims and perpetrators, few school district policies addressed the use of personally owned technology, mental health support for witnesses, evaluating programs, or enumeration of vulnerable groups. There was also a noticeable gap in policies that were culturally responsive in nature. Implications are discussed for educators, policy-makers, and researchers.

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Correspondence to Jaimie Stickl Haugen.

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Stickl Haugen, J., Sutter, C.C., Tinstman Jones, J.L. et al. School District Anti-Bullying Policies: a State-Wide Content Analysis. Int Journal of Bullying Prevention 2, 309–323 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42380-019-00055-1

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Keywords

  • Bullying
  • Cyberbullying
  • Anti-bullying policy
  • School policy
  • Content analysis