Laws to protect youngsters from playground bullies are largely ineffective, says the Associated Press. Several students’ recent suicides have parents and advocates calling for tougher measures. Forty-four states expressly ban bullying, a legacy of school shootings in the late ’90s. Few if any of those measures have identified children who excessively pick on their peers, says the AP. Few offer any method for ensuring the policies are enforced, says the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In April, a student, 11, committed suicide at his Atlanta-area home after his parents say he was repeatedly tormented in school. Officials denied it; an independent review found bullying wasn’t a factor, a conclusion his family rejects. Georgia’s law, among the nation’s toughest, would not have applied: It applies only to students in grades six to 12. the student was a fifth-grader. Only six states – Montana, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, North Dakota, and South Dakota – and the District of Columbia lack laws targeting school bullying.