Published: March 24, 2008

State Policies Related to School Violence

In Quality Counts 2008: Tapping into Teaching, the EPE Research Center examined whether states have policies in place for how to discipline violent or disruptive students, and whether they fund violence-prevention programs for schools.

For a state to receive credit in the area of discipline, its policies had to exceed the federal requirements of the Gun-Free Schools Act. For most states, this meant requiring districts to suspend or expel students for specific offenses. To receive credit in the area of violence prevention, a state needed to provide funding for programs such as violence-prevention training for school staff and anti-bullying programs.

State Policies on School Violence in 2007

The report found that 36 states have disciplinary policies that exceed federal requirements. However, only 28 states finance violence-prevention programs. Overall, 24 states have both kinds of policies in place, while eleven states have neither. These data show that less than half the states have comprehensive measures in place to both prevent violence before it occurs, as well as address it after the fact.

For Education Week coverage of student safety issues, see edweek.org's Safety and Health page. For more state-by-state information related to policies on school violence, see the EPE Research Center's Education Counts database.

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