Can Litigation Help Reduce Bullying?

Jonathan Todres, Georgia State University College of Law


Though many now reject the notion that bullying is a rite of passage, bullying persists as part of life in the way that poverty does—it is widespread, inflicts immediate and long-term adverse consequences, and often disproportionately affects marginalized children. From educational disruptions to mental health harms, the impact of bullying can alter life trajectories of young people.

A variety of interventions have been developed, tested, and implemented in school settings. While some interventions have resulted in substantial improvements in the school environment,others have had more limited impact with respect to certain populations of students or specific types of bullying. These varied outcomes not only indicate a need for more research and rigorous evaluation of school-based programs, but they also suggest a need to consider additional tools.