South Dakota one of six states without bullying laws


Excerpt from Rapid City Journal
and The Associated Press

South Dakota is one of six states that does not have anti-bullying laws, and Rapid City educators this year say they will continue to try combat bullying, suicide and harassment issues with proactive programs.

Only five other states — Montana, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and North Dakota — and the District of Columbia lack specific laws targeting school bullying, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures

Parents and advocates say that even the states that do have anti-bullying legislation are not enforcing them and the laws don’t go far enough to identify and rid schools of chronic tormentors.

Forty-four states expressly ban bullying, a legislative legacy of a rash of school shootings in the late ’90s, yet few if any of those measures have identified children who excessively pick on their peers, an Associated Press review has found. And few offer any method for ensuring the policies are enforced, according to data compiled by the NCSL.

While some state education officials provide model policies that school districts should mimic, they offer little to assure the policies are enforced; only a handful of states require specific data gathering meant to assure bullying is being monitored, for instance. Full story.

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