Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Schools May Be 'Liable' for Bullies

It is customary and even required for politicians to blame the school system for all the ills of students. Parents are in larger numbers than teachers in the voting arena... So, in a politically incorrect post, I am jumping in and asking: So- what is wrong with this?

"Schools May Be 'Liable' for Bullies - June 18, 2006 - 9:59AM
Schools may be 'liable' for bullies - Breaking News - National - Breaking News

Schools which fail to protect students from bullying could be forced to pay thousands of dollars in legal damages, an academic has warned. Brisbane-based Professor Des Butler, from Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Faculty of Law, said there were many Australian examples of bullied students taking civil court action against their schools and winning "sizeable" financial compensation."

Now the above is an article about Australia. Sadly, the same is true in the good old US of A. To wit:

  • Teachers can not touch a student for any reason without the very strong possibility of losing their licenses and being sued for permanently emotionally ruining the child- for life.
  • Regardless of what sounds good- "Oh yes, teachers can break up fights,"etc, in the REAL world it doesn't pass muster.
  • Schools are required to report all incidents but are targeted as ineffective if they do. Ask any principal and they will probably not voice it, but just look at their faces...
  • Students KNOW that there are very few consequences for negative behavior. Bullying, which usually takes place away from the eye and ears of teachers is hard to prove, barring physical evidence of violence. Then it is often word against word.
Bullying is a disgraceful, degrading, demoralizing, often very violent act, that is repeated with predictable frequency. Gang activity certainly encourages this behavior and fosters it.

There is a very definite need to remove these students from the system. If they are out of the system, where do they go? On the streets to create more havoc?

It all often becomes a legal battle. Simply put, aren't parents responsible for the acts of their minor children? Bullying does not usually start over night. It is a gradual personality development.

  • Where are the parents as this is developing?
  • Denial is a natural, but only to a point. What is being done, and where, to help make parents more aware of their child's negative personality development?
  • How do we implement it across the board- if at all?
  • How do we make victim students confident enough to seek help.
  • Is there are really safe haven for them?

I pose all of the above for your thoughts and comments...

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posted by An Educational Voyage @ 6/20/2006 01:49:00 PM  
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At 7/07/2006 6:58 AM, Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

Our public education system is the whipping post for many politicians. I teach in the best atmosphere possible: The Michigan Department of Corrections. Any bullying in my classroom can be handled by the corrections officers. Handcuffed and taken to segregation seems to work every time. But I feel for our public school teachers who have limited options.


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