A combination of pop culture, news media and school district discipline policies have promoted mutual respect at school and focused on harm that is done when children give and recieve cruel treatment to each other.

According to a big news study in the journal Pediatrics, bullying is down. In 2005, 28.5 percent of students surveyed reported experiencing at least one form of bullying. By 2014, that had dropped more than half, to 13.4 percent.

“Occasionally, there is some good news out there,” says Catherine Bradshaw, a professor and associate dean at the University of Virginia, one of the study authors. “There are some things that are improving.”

Bradshaw’s previous research supports the potential of restorative justice practices in school and social-emotional learning curricula to improve the way that students treat each other. This then has a major impact on a student’s readiness to learn and succeed by almost any measure.

“The story isn’t that bullying is checked off the list,” notes Bradshaw. Instead, this paper provides a mark in favor of “increased awareness,” and “evidence-based practices and policies.”

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