blunt essays with sharp points
May 5, 2008 9:20 AM–The link is to Naples (Florida) Daily News coverage of an anti-bullying measure which I read with interest.
After the article there are various comments by readers.
I became curious and read the bill at flsenate.gov. It became obvious that some of the comments were made by people who hadn’t taken the time to do that.
The bill is not a substitute for existing laws against assault, theft, harassment, and other crimes.
The bill requires schools to act on reports of bullying and harassment instead of turning a blind eye. It tells schools what their minimum responsibility is.
As Wordofmouth (one of the commenters) points out, in schools, assault and harassment are often not prosecuted under existing law. Teachers and administrators already have a tough job, and they tend to under-investigate reports of behavior that in the real world would involve the police. “Kids will be kids,” I’ve heard, and “he said, she said.”
My daughter is currently a target for a group of bullies, who have learned that a good cover is to immediately report her as having done the very thing they did to her, and corroborate one another’s stories. This is a classic “he said, she said” situation.
I sympathize with my daughter but also with the teacher. The teacher’s priority is to restore order and get back to teaching.
But there is a cumulative effect of chronic teasing, threats, thefts, lies, humiliations, and destruction of property. Merely restoring order after a complaint is not an adequate remedy.
As her mom has said, in the real world, if someone makes a report, the police appear and make an investigation. We are doing both the victims and the perpetrators a disservice if the rule of law is suspended in schools.
Accordingly, the bill requires the schools to:
- tell students about bullying, how to report bullying, and what the consequences are for bullying and for false reports
- train employees and volunteers to identify, prevent, and respond to reports of bullying
- notify parents of each report (including where to pursue criminal charges against the perpetrators)
- regularly report to a victim’s parents the actions taken to protect the victim
- refer victims and perpetrators for counseling
- report each incident to the state for statistical aggregation
My daughter’s mom and I would like to see a similar bill made law in Texas.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes they fool you by walking upright.
What part of “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” don’t you understand?
Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life. —Terry Pratchett
Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig. —Robert Heinlein
Do not ask why the past was better than the present, for this is not a question prompted by wisdom. —Ecclesiastes 7:10
Power lines abruptly stopped causing cancer in 1997 after the U.S. National Cancer Institute conducted a better study. —Robert Parks
Встретимся под столом! (Vstretimsja pod stolom: To meeting you under the table!)
The more you cry, the less you’ll pee.
Relish the love of a good woman.
It’ll never get better if you keep picking at it. —advice from Judge “Maximum” Bob Gibbs