Putting Policy Into Practice: Examining School Districts’ Implementation of Teen Dating Violence Legislation

Robin D. Jackson, Leana A. Bouffard, Kathleen Talbot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Texas was the first state to pass a law requiring school districts to develop and adopt a dating violence policy. However, very little attention has been paid to whether and how school districts implemented the policy. The current study examines the implementation efforts of a sample of Texas school districts to gain insight as to how the policy has been carried out. Content analysis was used to examine district handbooks, codes of conduct, and websites. Our findings indicate that a majority of the districts included in the study have developed and adopted the basic parts of the policy (the definition and a general set of consequences) while neglecting to implement specific parts of the policy beneficial to victims. Based on our findings we concluded that as districts move forward in implementing the dating violence policy, emphasis must be placed on providing services to victims and increasing awareness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-524
Number of pages22
JournalCriminal Justice Policy Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2014



  • high school
  • junior high school
  • policy implementation
  • school districts
  • school policy
  • teen dating violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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