TITLE

From Zero Tolerance to Early Intervention: The Evolution of School Anti-bullying Policy

AUTHOR(S)
Roberge, Ginette D.
PUB. DATE
September 2012
SOURCE
JEP: eJournal of Education Policy;Fall2012, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Responding to school bullying is a prominent preoccupation for school administrators and policymakers, particularly when considering the widely reported negative effects of bullying between peers. At the root of dealing with bullying in schools are policies that frame prevention and intervention measures. This paper critically examines the evolution of anti-bullying policies, namely in terms of the strengths and limitations of two policy approaches to addressing bullying between peers in schools: zero tolerance and early intervention. Implications for policy implementation are presented in combination with extant research findings of constructive anti-bullying policy practices. Research has commonly shown that school bullying prevention and intervention strategies are enhanced considerably when guided by effective anti-bullying policies (Coloroso, 2002; Rigby, Smith & Pepler, 2004; Swearer, Espelage, & Napolitano, 2009). There has been a paradigm shift over the past two decades, however, in terms of the ways that bullying between peers is addressed. Following an extensive review of the literature on school bullying policies, two main categories of anti-bullying policy orientation in schools were identified, which appear to adopt divergent approaches to addressing bullying between peers: zero tolerance towards bullying behaviors, more commonly adopted in the 1990s, and early intervention towards bullying behaviors more commonly adopted in current times. This paper critically examines how anti-bullying policies have evolved from zero tolerance to the early intervention discipline models, of which some of the guiding principles have been, and remain, widely utilized in schools. The strengths and limitations of both models are weighed through a systematic review of these anti-bullying policy approaches in comparison to extant research findings on constructive practices to counter school bullying. This analysis allows for significant discourse on areas of policy development and implementation that are conducive to reducing bullying in schools.
ACCESSION #
90374260

 

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