The purpose of the study is to assess the impact of model legislation designed to reduce the incidence of bullying among high school students, particularly those at higher risk for being ostracized by their peers.
Bullying at school is a widespread problem in the United States. There is no federal law that specifically applies to bullying; however, schools are legally responsible for addressing bullying in the context of harassment based on race, national origin, sex, religion, or disability. Most states—including Oregon—have passed anti-bullying legislation that mandates school districts adopt anti-bullying policies. Although model state school anti-bullying legislation exists, the public health impact of such legislation is unknown. The proposed study addresses the need for a balance between innovations in response to a public health problem and evidence to guide the policy-making process. It will also provide a first empirical assessment of the impact of school anti-bullying policies.