Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Legally Responsible

Should schools be held legally responsible for the actions of the bullies they house? Should the Supreme Court Justices be able to dictate laws from the bench? How does our school deal with issues of bullying? According the article we read today in class and in the spirit of Acceptance Week please share you views on harassment in school by students and how this should be dealt with.

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Joanna said...

Yes. Yes. To both of the first two questions. What do we always say about school when we talk about what we think its purpose should be? To my mind it's always something along the lines of "a safe place for growth and inquire..." etcetera and all that jazz. However, remember that there is emphasis, a lot of emphasis, on the SAFE bit. How is someone supposed to learn and grow into an emotionally mature human being if they're being bullied or picked on all day? Additionally, and I think this one is even harder, how can one grow emotionally mature if they are the one's DOING the picking and bullying?? As Brownie and Sam gave us numerous examples, jail or detention or whatnot is not the answer. In such cases, both parties need to be addressed. I mean, my mother can slap my hand all she wants; I'm still going to bite my fingernails. And we do this constantly, in almost every aspect of our lives. We treat the symptom and not the actual problem. You're lip is infected and swollen, instead of treating the infection with antibiotics; we're putting some chapstick on it in the hopes to make it look less visible. But the infection is still there! It's the same with the bullies. A kid is being bullied. It is the school's responsibility, not to expel the kid or throw his butt into detention, but to mediate. You find the reason for the bullying. More often than not, there is a major underlying cause and it is not really their fault, but hey have not been allowed, or they have not been in an environment that was conducive for them to mature emotionally, so they have to take this anger and frustration out on their peers.
Also, to address what Zilber, Gio, and Steph mentioned today about "Manning up" because "that's how the world is" (that one was paraphrased, sorry), would the world not be different if we were all afforded to opportunity to learn the basics of respect and tolerance for one another? I know, a lot of you said that it was the parent's responsibility and it all depends on how you were raised, but, I will share yet another personal anecdote. I was raised to be a bigot and a racist, one with good manners, but still. You would be appalled (or maybe you wouldn't) at the things my grandfather used to say about people of different races or ethnicities. My grandmother was often the voice of some reason, but I learned most of my tolerance in public schools. I understand that the big establishment-in-the-sky set up public schools as a way to keep kids off the street and has evolved it into a twisted filter for our pigheaded capitalistic society, but, if it's there already, why not try to use it in a way that is effective and would be beneficial? If one's parent's or guardian’s are ignorant, where else is the child going to learn? I am not too idealistic. It is the responsibility of the public schools to churn out human beings who are tolerant, accepting, respectful, intelligent and who have the ability to make good decisions.
Yes, this post went rather far off the topic (didn't really even go on the topic of the article) but I wanted it to reflect some of the discussion we had in class today because I thought it was really important.)

W Brown said...

I liked the spirit of the disscusssion in class and I would love to dig deeper into the topics we touch on in class. I f anyone has an article they would like to share or soemthing that involves our future participation in society please share.

either send the link via a comment or email me @ walterbrown@gmail.com

J. Mangubat said...

Hi, Brownie! Here is my blog response: I had to agree what Joanna said about the Tuesday's article on: "Legally Responisble." The students are being bullied by other students because of their sexual orientation are being protected by New Jersey's antidscrimination law, and the school districs must take reasonable stepst to stop such harassment, the state's Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday. The district policy was called for offending students to be punished after third offense, although they could be punished for being late to class by one minute on the fist offenese. The opinion issued yesterday found out that districs must take actions " reasonably calculated to end the harassment." Under the ruling, such actions will have to be determined case by case, considering how quickly school officials respond to harassment, its frequency and severity, and the maturity of the children who were involved. You can also either send the link via a comment or email me @ peejay121@aol.com

vishnell said...

I think schools should be held legally for the actions of the bullies that they are SUPPOSE to house. Like Mr. Brown said if anybody is being harassed verbally or physically and they take it up to their boss and their boss avoids it then that’s the boss’s fault if the bully keeps on bullying. In a school if a child reports him or her being bully it is up to someone in the school to take action because that is their job. Point blank.

I agree with Joanna about schools being able to help and change children if their bullying. The whole “man up” statement is true but not when it comes to children in school. I mean you are in school so it’s the schools responsibility to teach a child from right and wrong. Someone can’t just take bullying like its nothing and the bully can’t be forgotten like another troubled child. Also how Joanna said children can be troubled at home. A lot of my family has beliefs and opinions that I don’t agree with. I wouldn’t be the person I am if I listened to a lot of my family. School has a major factor of who I have become. The friends, the way I think, the way I feel, the way I talk and the way I carry myself every day is because I went to school. If I grew up at home it wouldn’t be the same. This meaning a child can act as a bully because as a result of how he acted in his home or what he was taught in his home. Now what if the child being bullied is from a loving and safe home and then faces a bully, how would he feel? The results to this can be a child hurting himself or killing him or others. All these terrible things are happening because of bully’s so shouldn’t schools learn from this and do something stronger to stop the bad from occurring. School is to educate and these people that are hurting others with their words or even with their hands need the special attention and are the ones who need the education more then others.

Harassment is something that shouldn’t be dealt with especially when it comes to children. Some don’t know how to react to harassment. Schools need to do whatever they can do to their job which is making the schools safe and prevent harassment. In a school a child is still growing so it’s not to late to change him or her and find their reasoning’s to why they may be hurting others. Understanding a child is the most important thing and that’s what it takes to help and safe a bully.

nyshee... said...

Harassment is where it shouldn’t be dealt with when it comes to children. when other people witness harassement they dont know what to do... just sit there or just look and dont say anything that's why today in schools everyone should have ther part and that if they witness something unwanted you should just tell some one close to and see what happens from there.....

Mr. Brown said in class, anybody thats being harassed verbally or physically and they take it up to their boss now of the boss doesnt do anything and the same person keeps on telling his/her boss on the same person and still no action is being done, the boss is going to be dealt with into something bigger from what it was because he can go to jail for not doing anything.

Anonymous said...

Children need an enviroment where they feel they can grow and learn without beingscrutinized by others. In other words they need to feel "safe" in their school enviroment. I agree with Joanna wholly, we need to help the problem not limit their time for bullying by putting them in Jail or Detention. Also as Joanna said we must mediate and make him understand the reprecussions of his actions. We must learn to start with the younger children now, so we may have a chance to change the future. Just because the world is "tough" doesn't mean we have to get tough along side it. We can try to change it so we are all comfortable in our own way.
Michelle Asciote