Policies & Laws

State and local lawmakers have taken action to prevent bullying and protect children. Through laws (in their state education codes and elsewhere) and model policies (that provide guidance to districts and schools), each state addresses bullying differently. Find out how your state refers to bullying in its laws and what they require on part of schools and districts.

Bullying, cyberbullying, and related behaviors may be addressed in a single law or may be addressed in multiple laws. In some cases, bullying appears in the criminal code of a state that may apply to juveniles.

In December 2010, the U.S. Department of Education reviewed state laws and identified 11 key components common among many of those laws.

Click on your state below to find out more about your state’s anti-bullying laws and policies and which of the key components they contain.

State Listing

There is no federal law that specifically applies to bullying. In some cases, when bullying is based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion*, bullying overlaps with harassment and schools are legally obligated to address it. Read more about when bullying overlaps with harassment and how to report it to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and then U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.


Content last updated on March 31, 2014