What are the Different Types of Anti-Bullying Policies?

G. Wiesen

There are several different types of anti-bullying policies that can take a number of different forms and may be issued at various levels within a region or school district. Some common ways to distinguish between different policies is to examine the level at which the policy was issued, either by a school district, a school, or a teacher in a particular classroom. While some policies are issued and upheld by a district or school, there are also movements to see similar policies passed into law by regional governments. The actual protections and punishments indicated by anti-bullying policies can also vary, as well as the individuals expected to carry out such punishments.

A school district might enact an anti-bullying policy.
A school district might enact an anti-bullying policy.

Anti-bullying policies are policies enacted by a school or other governing body to indicate guidelines and punishments with regard to behavior that is considered bullying or harassment. There are different types of policies that can be put into place to establish such practices, and in general one of the best ways to differentiate them is to consider where the guidelines are established. Many anti-bullying policies are set up by a school itself, usually under the guidance of a principal or at the behest of students at a school.

Many anti-bullying policies are set up by the school itself.
Many anti-bullying policies are set up by the school itself.

Some anti-bullying policies are instead created and enacted by the members of a school district board and superintendent. These policies will typically affect all of the schools that are part of that district, and will usually indicate that the principal or appointed individual at a school is expected to ensure the policies are upheld. In some areas, the issue has risen to greater recognition, and people have begun to lobby for legislatures to indicate how bullying and other forms of harassment will be dealt with at schools. These types of anti-bullying policies are rarer than those enacted at a school or district level, though they are also somewhat more powerful in potential effectiveness.

Different anti-bullying policies can also indicate different people who are intended to uphold the policies, as well as various definitions of bullying and punishment. The principal at a school is typically given power to ensure anti-bullying policies are upheld, though he or she can usually appoint someone else to oversee proper execution of the policies. Staff at a school, as well as students, are usually expected to behave in accordance with these policies, though sometimes the policies will only indicate students, since separate guidelines oversee staff behavior. Some policies leave punishment up to the discretion of a principal or appointed representative, though other policies give more direct guidelines for punishment of bullying and harassment.

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