The Definition of Bullying in Compulsory Education: From a General to a Legal Perspective
The definition of the word ‘bullying’ diverges based on the field of practice and research, in the absence of an agreed-upon overreaching definition. The latter would allow maximum flexibility in contributing to the variations in findings of various academic studies. Some argue that the lack of comprehensive definition is a factor of inaccuracy in estimating the prevalence of bullying itself. The ‘definition’ per se [of bullying] is in general recognized by the state law of the United States as one of the key components of any policy adopted by the states and local educational agencies, and which is required to be consistent with the definitions specified in state law. This article presents an overview of the definitions of bullying beyond the legal sphere in general as well as from a legal perspective. Special focus is dedicated to the state laws of the US as the main national jurisdiction that has adopted education law that contains explicit definition of bullying, as well as some of the aspects of defining bullying within the general and legal context of Lithuanian jurisdiction.
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