Policy Factsheet

School-Based Efforts to Reduce Bullying

Reasons for Policy

  • Bullying has serious short-term and long term effects on children’s physical and mental health.1
  • Victimization from bullying is strongly associated with depression.2

Community Groups

  • Local Government
  • Local School Board
  • Local School District
  • Parent Teacher's Association

Policy Components

  • Evidence-based bullying prevention or intervention programs
  • School wide anti-bullying policy, including sanctions and deprivation of privileges for bullies
  • Improved playground supervision
  • Educational and informational materials for teachers and/or parents
  • Teacher trainings

Desired Outcomes

  • Reduction in bullying
  • Decrease in victimization
  • Prevention of bullying and victimization
  • Encouragement of pro-social behavior

Level of Evidence Available to Evaluate Effectiveness of Policy

For all policies we describe on this website, we have applied the Standards of Evidence as defined by Flay et al. (2005) in the Standards of Evidence document published by Prevention Science.

The effectiveness level of this policy is 1: Evidence-Based Policies Meeting Criteria for Effectiveness.

The levels of effectiveness as noted are:

  1. meets criteria for policy effectiveness (consistent, positive outcomes from at least two high-quality experimental or quasi-experimental trials using a comparison group or interrupted time series design);
  2. consistent evidence available linking policy with positive outcomes from high-quality observational studies only;
  3. insufficient evidence available for policy or policy components.

Achievable Results

On average, school-based efforts to reduce bullying can achieve:

  • 20-23% decrease in bullying (Odds Ratio: 1.36, 95% CI: 1.26-1.47)1

On average, school-based efforts to reduce victimization can achieve:

  • 17-20% decrease in victimization (Odds Ratio: 1.29, 95% CI: 1.18-1.42)1

Community Examples

Broward County, Florida, Broward County Public Schools has an anti-bullying policy

New York City Department of Education implements an anti-bullying program called "Respect for All"

Links to Policy Examples

School Board of Broward County, Florida Policy 5.9: Anti-Bullying

Florida Statutes §1006.147 Bullying and harassment prohibited

New York City Department of Education, Rules and Policies, Citywide Standards of Discipline and Intervention Measures


1 Farrington, DP, Ttofi, MM (2009). School-Based Programs to Reduce Bullying and Victimization. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 2009:6.

2 Hawker, DJ, Boulton, MJ (2000). Twenty years research on peer victimization and psychosocial maladjustment: A meta-analytic review of cross-sectional studies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41, 441-455.

3 Flay, BR, Biglan, A, Boruch, RF, Ganzalez Castro, F, Gottfredson, D, Kellam, S, Moscicki, EK, Schinke, S, Valentine, JC, & Ji, P (2005). Standards of evidence: Criteria for efficacy, effectiveness and dissemination. Prevention Science, 6(3), 151-175.