Time to clear out some bullying links.
The ACLU is threatening legal action against Sultana High School in California. I found this back in March, but Google isn’t showing me any updates. According to the ACLU and students at the school, Sultana administrators have “allowed a climate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students to fester.”
There are so many of these types of stories out there that I couldn’t possibly link them all. That said, this one refers to the movie Bully (available on Netflix) and talks about some of the steps that have been and are being taken to keep this child safe. Though it’s not specifically mentioned in here, I hope the school is doing empathy training with its students as well.
A school district in Baltimore has held a series of focus groups on bullying (Note: Link has embedded video). Of particular interest is this: “Some issues, students said, include anti-bullying Power Point presentations, where the students get so bored by the time adults get to their point, the point is lost. Or, teachers address bullies with general reprimands to the entire class, and if bullies are dealt with, they’re reprimanded rather than punished.” Interesting points to consider if you’re planning or implementing an anti-bullying program at your school.
Here’s an encouraging story in what can sometimes seem like a sea of discouraging ones. Students at David Douglas High School in Portland, Oregon (Note: embedded video) stood up for a bullied special needs student. Apparently “so many students at the high school were outraged by what they saw on Facebook, dozens ended up reporting (it) to their teachers.” Good for them.
Is the word “bullying” being overused? Is it applied, willy-nilly, to situations that don’t really rise to the definition? Are we creating a generation of victims and victimizers? Susan Eva Porter warns us to be careful not to mislabel normal childhood drama in a way that actually does more harm than good.