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In-depth: How Missouri and Kansas anti-bullying laws compare nationally

Missouri laws check off more boxes than Kansas
Students at Lee's Summit High share stories about bullying with KSHB 41 News.
Posted at 4:29 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-05 19:32:47-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — A breakdown by the federal government of state anti-bullying laws shows how Missouri and Kansas stack up nationally.

After students at Lee's Summit High School walked out after a bullying incident, KSHB 41 decided to look into anti-bullying laws on both sides of the border.

Stopbullying.gov has a checklist of key components in states’ anti-bullying laws.

The key components include:

  • Purpose Statement 
  • Definition 
  • Scope  
  • Protected Groups 
  • District Policy Requirement 
  • Reporting and Investigations 
  • Consequences 
  • Communication of Policy 
  • Safeguards and supports 
  • Review and Update Local Policies 
  • Preventive Education 
  • Staff Training 
  • Parent Engagement 

Missouri checked off more boxes than Kansas did.

Click on each red dot to learn more about anti-bullying measures.

Missouri anti-bullying laws cover 11 of StopBullying.gov's 13 key components.

Missouri law does not include parent involvement or protected groups, meaning parents are not involved in prevention or response efforts when it comes to bullying. Schools are also not required to notify parents if their child has been involved in a bullying incident. The same goes for schools on the Kansas side of the state line.

StopBullying.gov noted that: "Missouri schools that receive federal funding are required by federal law to address discrimination on a number of different personal characteristics."

The federal website shows Kansas' anti-bullying laws include 6 of the 13 key components. Some of the missing components include reporting and investigations, consequences and safeguards and supports.

Lee's Summit students who participated in Monday's walk-out told KSHB 41 they do not feel bullying incidents are being taken seriously.

"In the future, I really want to see change, I want kids to be taken seriously by administration, I don't want them to be pushed aside or told that their feelings are invalid because everyone at our school, their feelings are valid and we need to become a community here," Danny Lillis, a senior at Lee's Summit High School said.

Some additional resources:
How to Prevent Bullying
What Teens Can Do