An independent government advisory group has found that preventing bullying is a public health matter and zero-tolerance policies are an ineffective tool for stopping it.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said that bullying isn’t just a child’s game. “Its prevalence perpetuates its normalization. But bullying is not a normal part of childhood,” the report said.
The report concluded that schools need to end zero-tolerance policies which result in automatic suspension for students doing the bullying.
“There’s no evidence that they are impactful in a positive way,” said Catherine Bradshaw, a professor and associate dean at the University of Virginia, and member of the report committee. “They can actually do more harm than good and in fact don’t provide the skill training or replacement behaviors for youth that are suspended or expelled.”