Rarely a day goes by that you don’t hear of some act of violence at school precipitating a new law. In an attempt to curb unwanted behaviors schools have banned such longtime childhood games as tag; steal the flag; musical chairs; duck, duck, goose; and cops and robbers—all said to” encourage exclusion, theft, bullying, aggression and competition” (Sorokin, 2002).
In oner town, Joe whispered to a classmate, “You’re a retard”. That comment not only landed him in the principal’s office, it required his mother to leave work and drive twenty miles to the school to meet with the principal and take Joe home to start his three-day suspension. But he got off easy. In New Jersey, a Benjamin Franklin Middle School student made the same comment and “because of the anti-bullying law, the boy 's insult had to be filed with the state 's education department. If in a few years he applies to a state university, admissions officers will see the charge that he was a bully” (Cloud, J. (2012). In terms of specific forms of student bullying, verbal bullying (e.g., name-calling, insults) continues to be the most common form witnessed and of greatest concern (Bradshaw, 2013).
Forty-nine states now have “anti-bullying” laws on the books. Quite possibly all school districts have some kind of anti-bullying programs in place and more and more come with a ...
... middle of paper ...
...o check our priorities.
The implications seem clear: the approaches we are currently taking to curb bullying in the schools, including zero-tolerance policies, are just not working. We are trying to cure the effects of bullying, without treating the causes. It is time to try something else. Children bully each other because they model the behaviors they have learned at home. Schools cannot be solely responsible for teaching our children the value of empathy, compassion and tolerance. It’s time for parents to take them back to church, teach them to say “I’m sorry,” “I was wrong,” and “Forgive me.” It’s time for parents to go home and raise their children responsibly—treat them with kindness and respect, educate them in diversity and appreciation of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, and even talent and intellect – if we do that… we might just change the world!
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