Bullying has gotten a lot of press. It’s way past time that this problem was being addressed. While a couple of high-profile suicides have been the catalyst, I have often thought that bullying was at least partially behind the Columbine massacre. Regardless of why it’s being addressed, it is. However, schools can only do so much.
The key to fighting bullies rests in communication. A school has finite resources to monitor situations. They often don’t know that bullying is going on unless a student or parent informs them. The sooner they find out, the sooner they can address the problem and make the necessary steps to deal with the problem.
Occasionally, you may find a teacher that just doesn’t seem to care. I’m fortunate in that I recently sat down with all my son’s teachers and found that they all desperately want to combat any bullying in their classes. Most parents are fortunate in that regard, but there is always the potential for one who doesn’t want to be bothered. What do you do then?
In the military, we were taught that if you didn’t get the results you needed, it was acceptable to go up the chain of command. Schools have that very idea in place. Go to the principal. For one thing, the teacher answers to him or her. You need to let them know what is going on, and that you addressed the issue with the teacher but there’s been nothing done.
Often, you’ll find that the teacher actually is trying to address the issue, but is being stymied somehow. Maybe the kids have just gotten sneakier about it. Let’s be honest, folks, teachers aren’t omnipotent beings who know all that takes place in their classrooms. It just seemed that way as children because they already knew most of the tricks we used. Kids today can come up with some better ways to hide their attacks.
Bullying leaves scars. The kids who were the victims of bullying have often suffered a trauma that most don’t fully understand. While most are able to move on a live a productive life, still others gravitate towards drugs and other risky behaviors in an effort to be accepted. This is not a good thing.
The way schools are structured now, a child isn’t able to deal with bullying directly. I won’t lie, I kind of hate that. I wish I could just tell my son to sock a bully in the mouth, take a couple days off from school, and go about his life, but he can’t. As such, I hold schools responsible for protecting my son and everyone else’s child, as well. However, we cannot hold them responsible if we don’t communicate with them about what is going on.
Right now, I have the email addresses for all of my son’s teachers, the school councilor, the vice principal, and the principal. They were all eager to provide it, because they want to prevent bullying as much as I do. If your child is being bullied, contact the school. Talk to the teachers. Talk to the principal. If they’re not responsive, please email me through my Laws-n-Sausages website. I have no problem pushing this issue from a political angle.
Bullying must be stopped. It can’t be unless we all take advantage of the tools available. Within the school system, we simply must make sure our teachers have the most accurate information about who did it and what they did. Otherwise, they can’t do anything about anything and another generation suffers. Let’s put an end to it once and for all.
Written by Tom Knighton. Tom Knighton is the managing editor of Laws-n-Sausages.com, a political blog focusing on SWGA. He is the former co-owners of SWGAPolitics.com and currently serves as the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Southwest Georgia