SCHOOL’S BULLYING, CHILLING NEW FRONT

CNN published an article by Francey Hakes entitled, “School Bullying’s Chilling New Front.” It features three tragic suicides related entirely or in part to school bullying. Bart Palosz, Joel Morales and Rehtaeh Parsons feared life more than death – so sad. Heartbreaking. The article goes on to list reasons for the near epidemic occurrences of bullying and what possible solutions there might be. It’s encouraging that CNN and other national news agencies keep the awareness raised for all to consider. This article, while not meant to be an exhaustive commentary on the subject is a good reminder and also reflects recent research.

Mrs. Hakes Writes:

1. “Schools must establish clear rules and enforce severe consequences for students who bully at school, whether it is in person or via electronic devices issued by or used on school property.”

2. “Schools should also monitor cyberbehavior by students. There are good software tools that monitor cyberactivity in real time and flag threats based on keyword libraries that are specific to

3. “Parents should be equally responsible. Parents are often told to monitor their children’s cyberbehavior to protect them from being groomed by predators or from sending illicit images of themselves. But parents should also monitor their children to see if they are doing the bullying.”

Good article, but they missed ONE VERY IMPORTANT element in reducing bullying in schools. Global studies suggest an average 50% REDUCTION IN BULLYING INCIDENCES when schools have a comprehensive, school-wide anti-bullying program (DiBasilio, 2008; Packman, Lepkowski, Overton, & Smaby, 2005; Olweus, 1993). This is EXACTLY what the “I Am Unafraid” program IS! And we have three different parts that make up the whole; the student’s part, the teacher’s part and the parents part.

While this “bullying front” is not “new” by any means, it is serious and a serious threat to the educational process AND a threat to healthy, young self-concept, a crucial element in developing our youth into strong contributors to the American, even global way.

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