Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What is the answer? Is there an answer??

In schools right now, bullying is a huuuuge issue.  I'm sure you've seen on the news tragic stories about kids (I don't care if they are 19 and in college they are KIDS) who have ended their own lives due to constant bullying from others.

I remember kids being bullied in high school.  I don't think the term "bullying" had been coined yet.  But, I remember it happening.  I also remember hearing through the grape vine that parents complained to school administration and nothing was done.  The kid being bullied was either "the outcast" or "didn't fit in with the popular kids."  Seriously?  I know it's easy to brush it under the table, but in my opinion (as a teacher and as a mother) you have to investigate thoroughly each suspected case of bullying.  You MUST. 

I think what's happening is that the word bullying is thrown around so casually these days that it's kind of like the boy who cried wolf.  That's a shame.  Kids can be MEAN.  I've seen kids be mean.  As an adult.  I've sat in meetings, with parents, of kids who admitted to the horrible things they have done to other kids (not in my current school), and the parents were still insistent that their child was not bullying. 

Where is this going?  Today my kids had a class with a wonderful woman and the topic was bullying.  I saw some children "get it."  I saw some kids looking sick to their stomachs, like, omigosh, I've totally been a bully.  I saw some kids who just plain didn't get it.  So we have to ask ourselves, how do we stop this from happening?  Some schools try.  Some parents try.  Some schools and parents do nothing.  What do we do?

I'm terrified that some day, Dexter is going to go to school and be bullied.  (If he ever becomes a bully, you can bet we will be bringing the parent rule down HARDCORE.)  Really though...if you're a parent of a child who is bullied, or if you were bullied....what keeps the child safe?  How do we keep our kids safe?  How do we prevent tragedies from happening?  How do we keep our kids safe and happy?  How?


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