School-based violence and bullying prevention programs

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
  • This strategy can help address educational disparities, promote healthy childhood environments, and prevent violence. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve these outcomes are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • Interventions that aim to reduce bullying and victimization in school settings
  • Programs generally seek to address disruptive behavior by teaching self-awareness, improving emotional self-control, building self-esteem, and/or increasing social problem-solving and conflict awareness ability
  • Some interventions aim to increase positive involvement from bystanders or witnesses
  • Programs can be implemented in grades K-12 and at various scales, ranging from school-wide, classroom-based, small group, and individualized approaches

Evidence and impacts


Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by the National Institute of Justice, County Health Rankings and Roadmaps

  • Reduced violence among students
  • Reduced victimization
  • Increased bystander intervention to aid victims
  • Reduced bullying

Best practices in implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Programs implemented at the classroom level appear more effective than formal school policies against bullying or approaches that focus on specific bullies.
  • Longer and more intense programs reduce bullying more than less intense programs.
  • To deliver programs effectively, staff need training in behavioral techniques, counseling, talk therapy, group therapy, and/or conflict resolution