According to a survey by the Department of Justice, the Crimes Against Children Research Center, and other pediatric study groups, children in the U.S. are a lot safer than they were in 2003.
Despite recent school shootings, experts believe the increased national attention against bullying has a lot to do with these findings. Edgemont Elementary Principal Dave Webster said he believes that better teaching methods have contributed as well. The school works to help students modify behavior instead of punishing students who may be acting out.
"We empower students to understand that other kids make mistakes and they may be having a bad day," he said. "We want to focus on the positive and empower students to really make the decisions that they can help one another rather than hurt one another."
School's across District 91 have participated in Rachel's Challenge, and anti-bullying program. But year-round schools have adopted the Positive Behavior, Influence and Support Program to encourage good character. Webster said since this new program, disciplinary referrals have dropped from 73 to 25 for the entire school year.