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Schools must take bullying more seriously

Published: Saturday, May 10, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

Regarding the [April 30] letter from Melissa Grant, bullying is never going to stop completely. It certainly will not stop until the people in charge take it really, really seriously.

A child reports being pushed on the playground at recess or being called names, etc. The child is told to tell an adult next time that happens. It happens again (usually the same bully), and the child tells the person supervising the playground, and the child is told not to tattle. (Yes, that has happened.)

More attention must be paid. Studies have shown that bullying can scar a person for life. We can’t go on saying that boys will be boys, or that girls are taunting you because they are jealous, or some such excuses. We must do some hard work to fix it.

Let’s give those kids who are taunted relentlessly a chance to enjoy school and learning, and not equate it with emotional pain and anxiety. Some children are bullied right from the beginning of their school experience right up to the higher grades and often by the same bully. In all probability, bullies are unhappy, and that’s how they take out their frustrations. 

The schools must have a zero-tolerance policy, and if they do have one, it should be enforced more strictly. We can’t wait until a tragedy happens. Young people are committing suicide or violent acts in large numbers these days. After a mass shooting, we often hear the survivors say the perpetrator was bullied. Do we want to wait until some horrendous incident occurs here?

I know that I am not offering solutions, but there are people out there who are trained to handle this problem. We must take our heads out of the sand. Thank you.

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