Bullying Prevention and Boyhood
20 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2020
Date Written: August 2020
A desire to reduce bullying in schools and to create safer and healthier school cultures has driven an anti-bullying movement characterized by significant reform in school programs and practices, as well as legislative reform and policy articulation in every state. A desire to improve school outcomes for boys has generated a number of programmatic proposals and responses in public and private education. Most notably, single-sex programming in public schools has been facilitated by the 2006 change to Title IX regulations setting out the criteria for permissible single-sex public school programs.1 These two recent movements in K-12 schooling spring from new urgency around each social problem: bullying and boys’ relatively worse school outcomes. This new urgency has shaped new research questions in both cases. The discourse includes both grave concerns about these primary social problems, as well as backlash questions such as whether these issues are really new or worse than before and whether the reforms are worsening the problems they seek to address. This Essay asks how the two movements interact and suggests that they may be at cross-purposes in some significant ways.
Keywords: bullying, boyhood, masculinity, gender, anti-bullying, social emotional, boys, education, bullying legislation, bullying prevention, gender nonconformity, Columbine, school discipline, school safety, safe schools, cyberbullying, school climate, SEL, social-emotional learning, single-sex school
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