Sunday, December 16, 2007

What can Schools Do About Bullying?

Schools can do much to reduce bullying. Indiana University can help with identification and intervention resources. So does the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.

Resources are available. Schools must use them.

Discipline and punishment are not the answer. Schools must be proactive.

Schools act in loco parentis - in the place of parents. They are negligent when they ignore bullying.

When schools are negligent, victims can sue for damages.

To prove a case for negligence, a parent must show:

  • The school had a legal duty to protect the child from bullying
  • The school failed its duty, and
  • The school's failure to do its duty was the direct cause of damage or injury to the child.

Laws and policies do not prevent bullying. Schools that react do not prevent bullying. “Safe” schools do not prevent bullying. Only proactive, responsive schools can prevent tragedy from happening.


BPowell said...

I concur with what you've said. Let me share with you what is happening in TSC and LSC. For the past 5 years we have had Challenge Days at Harrison H.S. with great success. In the last year, CFRC in Lafayette and Jeff H.S. have had Challenge Days for students of all 6 high schools in the county and their own students respectively. Challenge Day addresses the bullying,teasing and isolation among our students that is so damaging in our schools. Students see very clearly through an eye-opening exercise that we are all the same on the inside. We have the same feelings, joys, problems,etc. Students come to realize that by pushing others away, they may be pushing away the ones who could truly understand them.
Our goal is to create a Be The Change club at Harrison with opportunities for helping others and even random acts of kindness. By thinking of others we can reach out and work together to make a difference. The students have discovered that it feels good to do that. With Jeff H.S., we hope to be able to develop a Circle of Change that could bring our community together in this effort.
Challenge Day has transformed my job as a teacher into something much more important. We've been supported through grants and corportate/personal sponsorships. I am in the process of seeking funds for Fall, 2008 when we involve the entire school in a special convocation. I would like to know if you are aware of any excellent grants or potential sponsors that would help us in this huge endeavor. For this I would be most appreciative.
Bullying can no longer be thought of as a right of passage, it's become way too destructive. Thank you for your efforts to make the needed changes and raise awareness.

Anonymous said...

The school my son is attending is ignoring his cry for help. My son has been bukkied harrassed & much more, & the school is ignoring him. They are just giving me excuses after excuses. Also my son's IEP was not met. He needed servises of Speech theraphy service to him & another school never provided for him...What can I do about this issue.

Anonymous said...

My son is a victim of bullying. On his last day of school, after my son was seriosly hurt.(He was pushed into a wooden door at school and has bump and scar still), I had enough. I had to call the police as the school did nothing all year. What else can a parent do.