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Deborah Temkin
Dr. Temkin is the Program Area Director of Education Research at Child Trends, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization in Bethesda, MD.

From 2010 through 2012, Dr. Temkin led the federal initiative on bullying prevention at the U.S. Department of Education including leading the editorial board for, for which she was recognized as a finalist for the 2012 Call to Service Medal of the Samuel J Heyman Service to America Medals. Dr. Temkin continued her work in bullying prevention by creating and launching a new initiative, Project SEATBELT, at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in 2013. Recognized for her expertise in bullying and bullying prevention, Dr. Temkin is frequently invited to speak at high-profile events including the 2012 Iowa Governor's Bullying Prevention Summit and to serve as a media expert for a number of outlets including CNN, Al Jazeera America, and US News and World Report.

Dr. Temkin earned her doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University, where her research focused on bullying, peer relations, and prevention science. Dr. Temkin also holds an M.A. in Education Policy from Penn State and an A.B. in Psychology and Education Policy from Vassar College.

Opinions expressed on this blog are her own and are not reflective of Child Trends.

Entries by Deborah Temkin

All 50 States Now Have a Bullying Law. Now What?

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 12:19 PM

On April 21, Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed his state's anti-bullying law, eliminating the title his state has held for the last few years as the only state without one. The law, which is nothing more than a statement that bullying is not allowed, ends a push that...

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How Do Anti-Bullying Laws Translate to School Policies? Some Insights From Washington, DC

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 1:33 PM

For the last year and a half, I have worked closely with the DC Office of Human Rights to conduct an audit of school bullying prevention policies following the passage of Washington DC's Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012 (YBPA). DC's bullying prevention law is one...

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Playful Banter or Bullying -- Whose Perception Matters?

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 5:10 PM

How do we define and measure bullying? This is the question that continues to plague bullying prevention researchers, policymakers, and advocates alike. In his latest blog post, Dr. Justin Patchin ponders on the interactions between his adult friends, who actively tease, mock, and exclude each other, and suggests...

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Four Years In: Reflecting on Progress Toward Preventing Bullying

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 8:00 PM

Four years ago, on August 11-12, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) held its first-ever Bullying Prevention Summit, kick-starting the latest era of attention and action toward bullying. Tomorrow, ED will hold its fourth summit, once again bringing together the bullying prevention community. For the...

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The Misguided Bullying Storyline on Switched at Birth

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 2:29 PM

In the past few years, I became hooked on an ABC Family channel show Switched at Birth. I typically find its portrayal of teenage angst as refreshingly honest and greatly admire their integration of deaf youth into the storyline and their use of accurate American Sign Language. Unfortunately, as a...

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Why Criminalizing Bullying Is the Wrong Approach

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 3:27 PM

The concept of an "eye for an eye," as a form of justice, suggests that an aggressor deserves to be hurt just as much as the injured. This is why the calls for criminalizing bullying have only grown stronger in recent years. With the continued sensationalization of bullying-related...

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Do Bullied Youth Really Carry Weapons to School?

(6) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 11:54 AM

Bullying Victims Bring Weapons to School!

So reads the latest headline heralding new research on bullying and weapon carrying. This finding certainly sounds plausible -- we know bullying is a common factor in many school shooting incidents (though, like suicide, bullying alone is likely...

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Why the New VH1 Anti-Bullying Ad Is Seriously Misguided

(3) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 9:23 PM

By now you have probably seen VH1's foray into the anti-bullying world. In the video, dubbed by the Washington Post as "Glee-like," school-aged nerds sing confidently about how they will get revenge on their tormenters by being their bosses, making them their "slaves" and "pets," abusing...

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Why Do Youth Bully? The Answer Isn't Simple

(2) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 1:36 PM

A recent viral video features actor Wil Wheaton explaining why youth bully:

When a person makes fun of you, when a person is cruel to you, it has nothing to do with you. It's not about what you said; it's not about what you did; it's not about...
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The Impact of Bullying and Why Our Policies Are Missing the Point

(5) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 12:58 PM

A new research study released earlier this week demonstrated that being bullied is a risk factor for many persistent negative outcomes, highlighting once again why we are so concerned about bullying. Yet in our concern, we are losing sight of the very youth we want to protect. So...

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Bullying in the NFL? Why We Need To Differentiate Between Youth and Adult Bullying

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 6:22 PM

"Even football players are bullied!" This was the headline that rang out from nearly every news outlet this week. But is what happened bullying? There is no doubt that the racial slurs, death threats, and social exclusion Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin reports experiencing from teammate Richie Incognito was traumatic...

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Trick-or-Treating With a Purpose: Kids Can Involve Their Community in Bullying Prevention

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 3:06 PM

When I was around 12 or 13, I desperately wanted to go trick-or-treating, but I felt too old for the plastic Halloween bucket I had used when I was younger. My friends suggested sending away for UNICEF boxes so we could go trick-or-treating with a purpose. And so we went...

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Are Anti-Bullying Programs Counterproductive?

(1) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 4:34 PM

The latest headline-making research study to hit the media outlets this week suggests that having an anti-bullying program might actually make things worse. As with many of the recent bullying research turned headline news stories, the actual story is far more complicated than "anti-bullying programs don't work."

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Stop Saying Bullying Causes Suicide

(1) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 10:21 AM

Like many, I was saddened to read the latest headlines about two girls -- one from Florida and one from Louisiana -- who died by suicide earlier this month. While their families, friends, and communities grieve, the battle cry has started once again - "we must...

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Bullying: Are We Back to 'Kids Will Be Kids'?

(8) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 1:15 PM

Last month, U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller dismissed a case filed by the parent of a middle school student in Wisconsin, in which the parent claimed their child had been subject to several forms of bullying since 2011. Judge Stadtmueller stated that the Court was "reluctant to make...

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The Three Words Missing From Many Anti-Bullying Policies

(11) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 2:15 PM

This month, state legislators and their staff across the country start putting pen to paper, drafting new legislation for the upcoming session. Many, no doubt, will be drafting new laws to combat bullying. Momentum to pass new, stronger anti-bullying laws across the country has skyrocketed in the past several years....

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How Today's Same-Sex Marriage Rulings Will Affect LGBT Teens

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 3:54 PM

Today's Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage will impact the LGBT community far beyond simply the right to wed. As a safe-schools researcher and advocate, I believe it is critical to point out the impact that these rulings will have on students who identify as or are perceived to be...

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Is Sibling 'Bullying' As Harmful As Peer Bullying?

(2) Comments | Posted June 20, 2013 | 3:31 PM

Findings from a new study by researchers at the University of New Hampshire and published in the journal Pediatrics have created a media firestorm over sibling bullying. Headlines across major media outlets this week warned parents, "your children are bullying each other, and it's just as bad as...

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Ticketing Parents for Children's Bullying? Exploring a New Anti-Bullying Trend

(1) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 3:10 PM

A new trend is starting to emerge in how bullying is addressed -- punishing parents for their children's bullying behavior. In Monona, Wisc., parents can now be "ticketed" should their children continue to bully after the parents have received a "warning" from police. According to one editorial, the policy's...

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The Time Is Now for a Federal Anti-Bullying Law

(89) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 2:23 PM

Last week, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) reintroduced the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA), an act that would solidify the requirement for schools to address bullying and hold them accountable to collect data on the incidence and response. Federal bullying prevention legislation has been introduced every year since 2003, when Congresswoman...

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