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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Bullying in Schools

2013 January 25

Throughout the past decade there has been a national trend of legislation on bullying. In 2002, the U.S. Secret Service released a study on school shootings (in the wake of the Columbine shooting) that stated  “The prevalence of bullying found in this and other recent studies should strongly support ongoing efforts to reduce bullying in American schools.” Since then state legislatures across the country have considered, amended and proposed numerous bills on bullying. As of January 2012, 48 states had some sort of bullying legislation in effect. 


In 2012 the Arizona,  Idaho and Illinois Legislatures addressed bullying. Additionally, in the past few years LouisianaMichigan  North Carolina and Oregon have also addressed bullying in their legislative sessions. The bills have ranged from redefining bullying to include technological harassment otherwise known as “cyber bullying” to creating disciplinary actions for public school staff members who do not respond adequately in the case of bullying. State legislatures also addressed training for students and teachers on bullying prevention, required written reports on incidents of bullying, and reviewed bullying policies.

Cyber bullying has been addressed in the legislation of 38 states according to a recent study conducted by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University in February 2012. Cyber bullying is defined in most states as bullying that takes place online, through an electronic device such as a cell phone, or computer and does not involve face-to-face interaction. Cyber bullying has had a significant amount of news coverage particularly since a string of youth suicides in ...

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Oregon major party candidates lacking political courage

2012 January 09

We released the 2012 Political Courage Test results today for Oregon's special election showing neither major party congressional candidate running for the state's 1st Congressional District seat was willing to answer even the most basic issue-related questions addressed inside the Test.

Testing Oregon CD-1 candidates' political courage

2011 December 12

Special elections typically are a result of unusual circumstances, scandal, or tragedy, and the race for Oregon's 1st Congressional district is no exception. 

Why I volunteer

2011 November 17

Voters aren’t stupid; they know that political ads are emotionally deceptive, and they hunger for real facts. Project Vote Smart can help. Why do I volunteer here? Because it matters.