High Tuition in the US (and ensuing Student Debt)
LAW + MARKET
The government can regulate tuition by setting a maximum tuition limit, and then have each school find out how to meet the limit. This approach is a bit dangerous and could be either effective or have unexpected toll on certain groups depending on how each school deals with it. Schools may identify unnecessary portions in administration that can be streamlined, cut down on staff, or find external funding sources.
There can also be a policy for certifying alternative educational institute (e.g. online courses, studying abroad), so that they are acknowledged and given the same benefits as having a degree from a traditional institute (e.g. in job opportunities). If change in policy gives cheaper alternatives similar competitiveness, this will affect education market and tuition may come down.
NORMS + CODE
As slightly mentioned above, alternative educational institutes such as online educational platforms could be built and publicized to gain social acknowledgement.
There can also be platforms to help people understand the issue and status quo better. For example, one platform might gather data from enrolling students how much they are actually paying for tuition (after special discounts, school aid, etc.). If data reveals that a university practically collects and operates on only 70% of stated tuition, there will be a greater understanding of financial status quo and a stronger urge to tackle the issue (This can also provide a guideline for setting legal limit above). Another platform can list tuition for international and domestic universities and opportunities to apply to institutes abroad to broaden people’s perspective and education market.
Two complementary set of law can be set that when a bullying incident happen, 1) if a student bullying is in need of help (e.g. domestic violence), s/he is connected to appropriate resources in hope of solving the underlying cause of bullying and prevent recurrence of bullying but also 2) bullying (especially repeated bullying) is met with harsh punishment. Such policy will be implemented at both school level and state/federal level.
In addition to school resources, there can also be private companies with 24/7 hotline or resources for those who don’t feel comfortable seeking help within school or in case the school resources have low capacity.
To reduce bullying in school, norms of both children and adults (namely parents & teachers) need to be affected. In addition to factual workshops on how to identify bullying and how to seek/respond to help, an emotional workshop that shows stories from children who’ve been bullied can be more effective in bringing out empathy and conveying graveness of the issue.
Furthermore, accepting diversity and differences should be incorporated into everyday life not just in special workshops. A reading class featuring books with diverse main characters or a cultural show and tell can help shape how children react to differences, although not directly targeted at solving bullying.
Code can help with specific type of bullying: cyberbullying. Automatic detection of bullying pattern and verifying accounts, combined with real life consequences (e.g. subject to same punishment by law instead of simple account suspended limited to cyber space) can be effective.
Student Mental Health/Depression
LAW + MARKET
Law can mandate schools to maintain a certain student to counselor ratio so that students can receive timely and extensive help. Law can further manipulate the market to increase insurance coverage regarding mental health or lower the price of treatment for mental illness to make it more accessible.
NORMS + CODE
Attitude towards mental illness or treatment can be improved through multiple methods. There can be a newsletter or a blog where people (e.g. mix of high-profile and local people) share their stories regarding mental illness. There can also be a peer-to-peer support platform that can be searched by location, school, subject, etc. to share thoughts and resources and build help system outside of formal institutes.