- In New Hampshire, the rural Pittsfield Middle High School has a student-centered model that allowed students to propose a course known as “Drop the Drama,” which gave them a chance to design a school improvement campaign and develop a code of conduct.
- The Hechinger Report writes the 260-student school has seen a drop in the portion of students who report feeling respected by their peers and a jump in the number of requests for mediation from the school’s student-led Restorative Justice Committee.
- While studies have found social media can make students feel more connected to their friends and supported in tough times, online harassment has become a problem in schools, where problems often start and ultimately circle back.
The quality of the school learning environment is a critical component in academic performance. If students are distracted from their lessons by bullying and harassment by their peers, they have little hope of performing at peak capacity.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, GLSEN, found bullying based on race/ethnicity is up from 2005, but down in all other categories — sexual orientation, body size, gender, religion, ability, economic status and gender expression. Still one in four students reports being bullied, and that portion can be as high as 59% in schools with the most bullying. Administrators have to get a handle on local context and tailor interventions from there.