high school students at lunch table

Investments in Campus Climate Paying Off

The Los Angeles Times, EdSource and KTVU News are among media outlets sharing research by Social Welfare Professor Ron Avi Astor showing a marked decline in day-to-day violence on school campuses over the last two decades. Astor attributed the findings to investments in resources to improve campus climate and access to mental health services. Nationwide, billions of dollars have been spent on social-emotional programs for students; educating teachers and staff about how to create more caring, welcoming settings; and bringing more social workers, counselors, psychologists and other “people personnel” onto campuses. “I think there’s a deep sense of disillusion that every time there’s a shooting, there’s almost a feeling that we invested all this time and energy and nothing works, that our schools are getting worse,” Astor said. But the data do not bear that out, with students reporting that they are feeling more connected and safer, he said.


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