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Crackdowns on Bullies Can Backfire, National Academies Report Finds

Education Week – 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…”This is a pivotal time for bullying prevention,” researchers conclude. “Reducing the prevalence of bullying and minimizing the harm it imparts on children can have a dramatic impact on children’s well-being and development. Many programs and policies have been developed, but more needs to be known about what types of programs or investments will be most effective.” “(more)

As Awareness of the School-to-Prison Pipeline Rises, Some Schools Rethink the Role of Police

The Huffington Post – Harold Jordan

“As talk of law enforcement reform continues to swirl in the aftermath of the Department of Justice’s Ferguson report, some communities have quietly made progress in addressing how police interact with students. Traditionally, police stepped on school grounds to respond to emergencies, such as those involving threats or major acts of violence, or to provide security, such as at arrival and dismissal times and at special events. What’s new is the growing trend of having police stationed in schools full-time. In other words, schools have become some officers’ beat. And like traditional policing, many officers walk this beat armed. The consequence has been the rise of the school-to-prison pipeline…The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Reform …noted that, “School district policies and practices that push students out of schools and into the juvenile justice system cause great harm and do no good”…The task force recommends that schools work with police to do everything they can to “find alternatives to student suspensions and expulsion,” such as through diversion programs.”(more)