Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bully for you





What images do these words evoke in you?

Let me tell you a story, then let's talk.

An 8th grade boy is bullied on the internet by another 8th grader. The bullying seemes to have amounted to verbal assaults that seemed relatively minor; if any bullying is minor.

When the insults failed to initiate much of a reaction from the boy, the bully threatened to kill the 8th grade boy's brother, and threatened sexual assault on his mother, with the help of a group of boys.

The 8th grade boy hit the bully.

The 8th grade boy got suspended for school violence.

The bully is in school.

We can discuss how violence isn't the way to handle bad situations. We can say go tell an adult...go tell the principal, go tell the counselor........but in reality, the schools do not have the time, resources, or wherewithal to deal with 'stories' of bullying. Even if they witness it, their hands are tied to a point. If this boy walked away from physical threats to his family and 'tattled', who would do anything? Who would take action on an event that they didn't witness? Who is there for the BULLIED?

Nobody is disputing that the no tolerance policies in place in our public schools are meant to do no harm. In theory, they are a solution to a huge problem in the public school system. The boy is taking his punishment, and the family is not arguing whether or not throwing the first punch is a punishable offense. My issue is that no tolerance is not the answer either.......there's always a situation in the mix that doesn't fit the original no tolerance model................there's always shades of gray in our world that wants everything to be black and white.

My question is this: What should he have done? Nobody has time to investigate a purported 'threat'. Nobody has time to deal with the 'squabbles' of teens. Nobody has the resources to SOLVE the problem at hand. They show success by all the kids that are suspended or expelled for their 'violent' actions. Did anyone try to get to the ROOT of the issue?

Here we have a bully that physically threatened a family, and he's free to attend school, and continue his education, and thinking he's somehow been 'wronged' since he was punched. Whereas a boy is stuck in suspension, and has the stigma attached to his school record of 'VIOLENCE'

It's just wrong.

1 comment:

Be Inspired Always said...

I know how you feel. My son was in a fight at school. He was choked up against his locker at school. A bruise around his neck is how I found out what happened. I found out later too that my son is the one who started the bullying.

Which got me thinking how unfair it was that the only one punished was the kid who choked my son. They saw that as more alarming than the other.

My opinion is, they both should be accountable for what happened, not just one.

We need to make our kids accountable for their actions.Mine will thnk twice before he ever does that again. I got him to take the punishment as well, plus apologize to the other child.