by KYW’s Dr. Marciene Mattleman
The US Department of Education’s summit on anti-bullying last month in Washington DC brought to light that school administrators lack agreement about what constitutes bullying. While 43 states have laws banning it, definitions vary.
Federal statistics suggest that one of every three US students, an estimated 18 million youth, will be bullied in schools this year. Although bullying has received increased attention, researchers ask students questions in many different ways about bullying and aggressive acts in schools, which lead to further confusion.
Arne Duncan, the Federal Secretary of Education, reported that the Department and its office of civil rights is stepping up its enforcement of violations and will issue policy guidelines to schools about their responsibilities.
According to Education Week two new websites were showcased also, findyouthinfo.org and bullyinginfo.org, bringing together material from across the federal government to help teachers, administrators, students and parents understand and deal with bullying.
In examinations of the causes of youth suicide in recent years, bullying has been mentioned frequently. Clearly attention to this problem is warranted.