ERIC Number: EJ878808
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Blocking the Bullies: Has South Carolina's Safe School Climate Act Made Public Schools Safer?
Terry, Troy M.
Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, v83 n3 p96-100 2010
Recent news in the national media about two students' deaths as a result of harassment in school has highlighted a renewed desire for educators to address the culture of bullying and harassment in public schools, especially when the victims are targeted for their real or perceived differences. South Carolina's legislature responded to this need in June 2006 with the passage of the Safe School Climate Act. This statute was designed to limit and punish "harassment, intimidation, or bullying" among public school students, and it required school districts to establish policies to address this issue before January 1, 2007. However, failure to adequately implement the provision may provide an explanation as to why the Safe School Climate Act has failed to significantly change the culture of schools in South Carolina. South Carolina's legislative intentions provide a reference for similar legislation and policy changes nationwide. Current research shows that only quality staff development combined with ongoing, effective training in and education about any new policies will lead to its effective implementation. The complex causes of bullying and its impact on school culture continue to be debated by educational researchers, psychologists, and social theorists. If we are to radically change the culture of our schools to limit the effects of bullying, intimidation, and harassment, we need to formulate long-term prevention strategies to affect change. Legal remedies and punitive measures for bullies alone have not solved the problem. (Contains 1 table.)
Descriptors: Public Schools, School Culture, Bullying, Prevention, Educational Policy, Educational Environment, Interpersonal Relationship, Victims of Crime, State Legislation, Educational Legislation, Staff Development, Change Strategies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina