Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Officials Form Anti-Bullying Alliance

How to Stop Bullying in Schools

Terrebonne Parish has adopted an alliance to stop bullying in schools. But is it enough?
Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, is making constant efforts to improve education. The latest efforts made by district officials (and even state legislation) are to form an anti-bullying alliance, according to this local article. I will herein outline the more salient points and discuss their efficacy. As always, we would all love to hear your opinion on this topic so essential to education.

School Officials--Not Parents--Band Together

I must applaud these educators for touching on an important topic. With the constant interconnectivity of our society (cell phones, smart phones, internet, social media), bullying is no longer confined to the school grounds.

However, my personal experience has shown that almost every "top-down" program always starts at the top and never seems to make it down. Students and parents already know that the administration stands against bullying; so what is going to change with this new "alliance"? I sense very good intentions put to mediocre use.

Like Jamie Stephenson-Theriot states in the article, parents need to be the target of bringing this initiative into the community.

Children Can Change Schools

If a child still does not know how to stop bullying, then parents can change schools. Yes, there is great potential for abuse of this policy, and it could cause some long-term damage to a school if there are not some measures put in place to curb school-hopping. Even so, I think this is a much better option than making a student stay in a place where he or she does not feel safe.

What the article does not detail is whether or not parents can move a child who they know is being a bully. If a parent feels that the child needs a change of venue in order to force a change in friends, do they have the latitude to make those kinds of decisions? And what if a student is neither the bully nor the victim--could the student change schools if he/she feels like a likely target due to religion, race, or economics?

Bullying Goes Beyond School

Legislation has restraining orders for bullying among adults, but a personal experience related in the article shows that adults and children share more in common than we'd like to think. We aren't just teaching children. We're building an entire generation.

What do you think about this new alliance? Is it effective, or is it simply a nice gesture? Why?

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