Tag Archives: bullying

HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD PRESS

Each day we offer a sample of headlines that appeared in the world press along with our comments.

Hungary, Budapest Times: “Cloudy With Chance Of Meatballs”
This would be a great weather forecast for those who have been fired.

Turkey, Hurriyet: “Study To Push For Peace In October”
We can have war the other months

Kuwait, Kuwait Times: “Disasters Leave Death And Destruction”
That’s what a disaster is.

South Africa, Argus: “Every Cent I Share It”
The dollars I keep for myself.

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: “Women Happier Than Men”
Well, they lay down more than men.

New Zealand, New Zealand Herald: “Toy Guns Banned”
Real ones are OK says the NRA.

Sweden, The Local: “Students Speak Out About Bully Teachers”
Bully for the students!

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Drunken Pastor’s Funeral Service”
Probably a better service than when he is sober.

Report Highlights Sexual Abuse By Teachers To Students

A report published by Plan, an international organization which monitors abuse of children including teacher-student relations, indicates millions of children are threatened with receiving poor grades unless they provide sexual favors to teachers. Plan believes sexual violence is institutionalized in many schools throughout Africa and teachers are brutalizing and threatening children to grant them sex or face the consequences. The report suggests many children who have been forced into sex by teachers are more likely to get AIDS and have a higher suicide rate than other children. Plan argues that 90 nations continue to allow teachers to inflict physical harm to children they deem to have misbehaved. In the long run, corporal punishment simply makes violence part of school life.

Tom Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Plan, notes: “This report presents shocking and irrefutable evidence that children across the globe are regularly sexually and physically abused by the v ery adults who have a duty to protect them. Violence in schools was too often viewed as acceptable or necessary by education authorities, parents, and governments.”

During my 52 years as a teacher of secondary and college students, I have never once felt the need to inflict physical punishment on a child.

Parents Bully Danish Schools To Protect Bullies

More and more Danish parents are fighting against efforts of schools to crack down on bullies by retaining lawyers and threatening lawsuits if their children are disciplined. A survey by the Copenhagen Post revealed one in eleven schools have experienced the phenomenon of being bullied into reducing penalties against youngsters who were engaged in bullying activities. Current law allows students from grades 3 to 10 to be punished by school administrators with up to an hour detention, suspension for up to one week, transfer of a student to another class or relocation of the student to another school.

Anders Balle, president of the schoolmasters’ union realizes parents seek to defend their children but introducing lawyers into the mix creates challenges for schools. But, Solveig Gaarsmand, head of the Parents’s Advisory Council argues schools are to blame for failure to listen to parents on many issues, and fear their child will be relocated to another school.

Certainly counseling is a vital component of any program related to bullying behavior. Sending a bully to another school does not eliminate the issue of bullying, it simply forces another educator to handle the problem.

Are Schools A Safe Haven For Children?

Tiana Turner, a New Zealander educator, who works with children aged 8 to 16 told local politicians that schools were failing children from families in which “inter-generational abuse” was common. She claims “schools used to be a safe haven. What I have noticed is that school is no longer a safe haven. They(children) go from their homes that are extremely challenging to a school environment that is even worse.” She believes that traditional schoolyard bullying has escalated which increases the difficulty in safeguarding children in schools. She blames the “guielines for schools and teachers have no ability to put in very clea boudnaries to have a safe environment.”

Ms. Turner is most probably correct in that modern guidelines make it more difficult to expel children and as she points out, to do so would only place “young children on the streets getting no education, with not confidence and no self-esteem.” Defenders of school policies insist there are guidelines and things are better than before. Is this an example in which both sides are making valid points?

Ms. Turner and others forget in the “old days” a much higher percent of toubled and difficult children either left school on their own or were permanently expelled. Mass education means all children, difficult or not, are entitled to an education. In post industrial societies, there are fewer job opportunities leading to careers for adolescent youth. The end result is society must confront issues dealing with these children for whom violence is a way of dealing with life itself. Perhaps, the solution also lies in creating an education that has meaning for children.