Could Your Child Be a Bully? – Part of Anderson Cooper’s (CNN – AC360) “Bully Effect” series. Points out that any child can be a bully, that bullying is a side effect of the fight for social status, and that bystanders often have the best chances of stopping a bullying incident. The article’s primary audience is parents, but there’s useful information in there for school counselors, as well.

Since Sandy Hook there have been calls for increased security in the nation’s schools, up to and including arming our teachers, but during a recent hearing in Washington D.C., “when polled by Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ) about whether arming teachers is one route to improving school safety, every panelist answered with a resounding no.” A better solution includes increased investments in resource officers, counselors, and emergency preparedness training. Unfortunately, all of these are beyond the reach of most already budget-restricted school systems.

The Obama administration has proposed an assortment of programs “aimed at bolstering school safety and helping schools improve mental health services.” The programs would help schools hire resource officers or counselors as well as upgrade currently existing safety plans. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) have also introduced legislation that aims to help schools improve safety.

In today’s education climate, academics are often given precedence over social/emotional development, to the detriment of many students’ psychological health and well-being. By strengthening the partnerships between teachers and counselors and integrating developmentally appropriate classroom guidance into existing common core lesson plans, schools could work toward reducing violence with minimal additional budgetary demands.