Seven Years After Columbine, States Continue To Push For Anti-Bullying Legislation
Contact:  Lori Wright
603-862-0574
UNH Media Relations

Erika Mantz
603-862-1567
UNH Media Relations
April 19, 2006

DURHAM, N.H. -- Seven years after two teenage gunmen killed 13 people at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., on April 20, 1999, states across the country are continuing their efforts to stop and prevent bullying. The massacre ignited a national discussion on the devastating effects of bullying and how to prevent it. Two faculty members from the University of New Hampshire are available to discuss different aspects of the issue.

This year, several states are considering anti-bullying legislation in grades K-12. In Florida, the effort was prompted after a Cape Coral boy killed himself after years of harassment from a classmate. Other states considering anti-bullying legislation include Alaska, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wyoming. In addition, several providences in Canada have proposed similar legislation. In the United States, nearly two dozen states have anti-bullying laws.

Todd DeMitchell, professor of education, is available to discuss school liability, adequate supervision, and responses to preventing bullying from school administrators and state legislatures. In addition to his research in this area, DeMitchell has two decades of experience in K-12, including as a teacher, principal and superintendent. He can be reached at (603) 862-5043 and tad@unh.edu.

Melissa Holt, a research scientist in UNH’s Crimes against Children Research Center, can discuss the current research around bullying, signs of bullying and ways to stop it. She is currently conducting research in Massachusetts that looks at bullying during the transition from elementary to middle school, and its link to other forms of victimization. Holt can be reached at (603) 862-2532 and melissa.holt@unh.edu.