UNDERLYING ISSUES
Overview of the Sources of Conflict between
Legal Advice Pertaining to ABR Compliance
and Professional Anti-Bullying Expert Advice
Regarding the Use of Evidence-Based Practices

"In the Last Episode..."

If this is the first page you are viewing in the "ABR" section of this website, I encourage you to go back to read the "Overview" and the "Who is the Expert?" pages before reading this one. On the "Who is the Expert?" page, I discuss the fact that the passage of a law requiring schools to address bullying creates a situation in which compliance with the law itself becomes a goal for schools that can compete, and sometimes conflict, with the original goal of addressing bullying in ways that effectively protect students. The law might be necessary to ensure that schools take bullying seriously, but at the same time, it creates the risk that schools will compromise effectiveness for the sake of compliance.

Attorneys are experts in the law. Anti-bullying professionals, including psychologists and sociologists, are experts in effective strategies for addressing bullying. To meet the dual goals of compliance with the law and effectively preventing bullying, schools need the advice of both types of experts. However, although the ABR is based on evidence-based strategies for addressing bullying, so theoretically, legal advice and evidence-based expert advice should be consistent with each other, in practice there often is a discrepancy between the advice provided by attorneys, and the advice provided by anti-bullying professionals.

This page provides a closer look at some of the issues underlying the discrepancies between legal advice and professional anti-bullying expert advice, because the better we understand the source of these conflicts, the better equipped we will be to choose strategies that can achieve both the goal of compliance, and the goal of effectiveness, thereby keeping both schools, and students, safe. You might also want to review the similarities between ABR requirements and evidence-based effective practices, because it is also important to understand the ways in which the ABR requirements do reflect evidence-based practices.

Sources of Discrepancies between Legal Advice and Professional Anti-Bullying Expert Advice

Each of these four sources of conflict, or discrepancy, between legal advice and evidence-based expert advice advice is explored in greater depth on a separate page in this website: