Experts to Congress: Kids aren’t “just kids” when bullying

By Chris Linden
Medill Reports
WASHINGTON — Tales of the school bully are as old as the playground, but Congress wants to end those tales and provide additional tools for monitoring school safety.

The Safe Schools Improvement Act, introduced in the House in May, would require states to report incidents of bullying and harassment, in addition to data already required on violent crimes, guns and drugs. The bill would also include funding for bullying prevention programs. It overlaps initiatives already taken by some states to monitor antagonistic behavior among children.

Experts suggest bullying is more than a rite of passage for children and often leads to violent behavior such as school shootings and suicide. Testifying before an education subcommittee last week, several students and anti-bullying advocates emphasized character education programs and peer mentoring groups to counteract bullying. Full story.

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