I have the privilege of reading coursework from teachers taking all of our classes, but a few courses produce some amazing reflection. One of them is course 712: Sticks and Stones – the No Bully Zone. Many teachers mention different ways in which students are picked on, and I know of students who experience similar stories. It’s heartbreaking to read so many patterns that are still upheld, and all of the creative ways in which kids hurt each other.
Unfortunately, bullying is something that has transformed, and, with the rest of the world, has acquired a boost through technology. It’s sinister, really, how bullying has evolved into a 24-hour threat. Students feared that their presence at school would solicit physical and verbal assault. Now, in addition to that, texting and social networking have provided new platforms for cruelty that can be utilized all the time. Retaliation is always a concern as well. When Columbine happened, our focus was on the guys with the guns. In addition, to maintain a safe school for all children, we must take action on the pervasiveness of cyber bullying.
It’s good to see educators and administrators focusing energy toward this distressing trend, especially highlighting the penalties of the law and society along with district, building, and classroom consequences. It’s really REALLY inspiring when students stand up for one another, too (like in this video).
To fight bullies on all levels is a necessary and worthy fight, with the well-being of students as the ultimate goal. Indeed, we can show through guidance and modeling how amazing a world without bullying can be.
Keep on keeping on.