By Evie Blad
Some common ways schools work to prevent and respond to bullying are ineffective and, in some cases, counterproductive, a panel of researchers assembled by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine wrote in a report released today.
Tough penalties for bullying, which have grown popular as public awareness of its effects has grown, may actually make the problem worse, the researchers found. That’s because victims may view the consequences as too harsh or fear retaliation, which may keep them from reporting bullying.
Zero-tolerance policies, which lead to suspensions for offenders, “are not effective at reducing bullying and thus should be discontinued, with the resources redirected to evidence-based policies and programs,” the report says.