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My son was tormented and harassed for years before I became aware of the physical and emotional signs. It became unbearable his senior year, I approached the school and was told "they would handle it". The torment was worst on a school bus that transported a class of students from the high school across town to a technical college for class in the afternoon. To avoid the bus ride my son decided to ride his bicycle the eight miles from his high school to the college every day. Three weeks before graduation and the week before prom, my son was run off the edge of the road and hit railroad tracks face first causing his entire upper lip to be tore off his face. We were blessed to have an amazing plastic surgeon who was able to attach it with only a small scar visible today. My son would not leave the house for a long time due to the swelling in his face and the final insult came from the school who notified me that my son would not graduate due to missing the days from school. Prior to this accident, he attended school every day and endured this harassment just so he would graduate. To make this long story as short as possible, I made a trip to the school, informed them of why my son was not in class and what my actions would be if he did not graduate with his class. He graduated and received his degree from the technical college and has moved on with his life, forgiving and trying to forget. Thank you for this program....if it can just stop one child from suffering it will be worth the effort. Betty Bryant.
Parents need to be involved to STOP the bullying. It is not OK to say it is a part of being young or in school. I had to really dig to find out that bullying was happening to my son and went so far as to call the guidance counsellor and inform him what was going on. I also told my son to let those children know I would hire an attorney to deal with their harassing behavior if they didn't stop. They stopped and my son had an enjoyable high school experience. I don't regret being a meddling mother.
I am a principal of a PreK-8 school in very rural WV. My staff has been very active in anti-bullying prevention and we take the issue very seriously. I believe the most frustrating part of this issue is the realization that the students bully because they are victims of an abusive home life or live with a parent that is a bully. Children learn what they see. I deal almost daily with parents that choose to bully the staff and the administrators over their child's behavior. We've been threatened verbally and physically. We stand strong, but the community culture of bullying is the area that has to be addressed. There are many incidents of bullying outside of the school environment that spill over into the school. It makes us weary that the community believes that bullying prevention is only the responsibility of the school. It takes a community effort, with the school and with the cooperation of the various social services agencies as well as law enforcement to make sure that this behavior changes for adults as well as children.
I've commented on this subject before. One last comment on "Bullying" is this: Intil there is legislation by way of enacted law(s) that Clearly Define What Constitutes An Act Of Bullying; And What Punishment Flits The Specific Act of Aggression [Bullying] , , , No Matter if the Bullying Offense is a Verbal Assault, Defamation of Character, Slander; etc. Or; a More Extreme Act of Physical Assault/Battery [Ultimate Act of Bullying] that Causes Physical Injury and/or Death. Or, as in the Case of Phoebe Prince . . . Bullying that Ultimately Causes A Victim to Suicide. There Must Be Laws . . . Federal Statutes; State Statutes; etc. That have "Teeth" and not Rhetoric. As the saying goes: "If You Can't Do The Time, Don't Do The Crime". Students Must Be Held Accountable; even if they are Arrested, Adjudicated, Sentenced, and go to Prison. And the Teachers and Administrators should be held to a similar standard . . . by this; I mean that their Inactions to Stop Bullying, Knowing for Fact that Bullyiing of a Student Exists; and there is Credible Witnesses to Validate the Actual Act of Bullying on/upon a Student; and More Importantly: If These Same Teachers and/or Administrators Personally Witness the Act of Bullying And Do Nothing . . . Then, I Would Expect the Parents of Their Daughter and/or Son [the Sudent Victim] Would Have the Courts [Legal Establishment] to Proceed in the Parents of Said Bullying Victim; to Bring Civil Action [Sue] Against Teachers and/or Administrators. HJG.
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