Tag Archives: School bullying

Indict South Hadley H.S. Along With Bullies!

The death of 15 year old Phoebe Prince who arrived in America about a year ago from Ireland should be compulsory study in every high school in America. The fifteen year old arrived in the United States and assume attending high school would not only be a learning experience but fun as she met new friends. From day one of her arrival, a group of girls at the high school decided Phoebe was not their type and began a daily constant program of verbal abuse not only in her presence but on Facebook. Girls followed her in school shouting, “Irish slut,” and other insults, but apparently, no teachers ever heard their shouts. She undoubtedly committed a terrible crime by briefly dating a popular football player. As anyone who has taught in American high school knows, football players are reserved for the cheerleaders.

The Massachusetts legislature has passed an anti-bullying law, but there are unanswered questions. As one who taught high school for ten years and has worked with 12,000 teachers it is impossible for me to believe that teachers and school administrators did not know what was happening to Phoebe. There should be a police investigation of the faculty and criminal charges brought against any educator who allowed such behavior. We hope the family will sue the school district in order to send a message to teachers and administrators that children at a school have a right to personal security.

Swedish Girl Stabs Bully

It was a minor story about a basically unimportant incident, but the event is one that happens in every nation and in every school. A 15 year-old Swedish girl had been bullied for over three years by a boy, and when she was told to wash up while standing next to her tormentor, something snapped, and she took out the knife she had brought to school and decided it was time for action. Fortunately, the boy was not seriously wounded, but authorities decided to charge her with attempted murder. She admitted, “right after I was so happy, but the others in the class were scared or panicked.” Naturally, the principal denied there was any bullying in the school and his claim was supported by teachers.

Comments by the principal and teachers remind me of what educators said about the Columbine boys who killed several classmates in Denver years ago. No one knew anything about how the two boys were bullied. There is bullying in EVERY SCHOOL IN THE WORLD. How about educators opening their eyes or listening to what goes on in their schools.

The action of the girl were wrong, but she was being bullied.

Mother Gives It To Bully

She arrived at school to pick up her ten year old son and as he approached, she noticed that his cheek was red. The boy was reluctant to admit what happened, but finally told his mother that a boy who had been bullying him for weeks had beaten him up once again. Mom was furious and wanted to see the boy. As she stood before the smirking little boy, she was thinking about taking him to the principal’s office, but suddenly, “I didn’t know what happened to me. I simply gave him a slap with my open hand.” A judge sentenced her to twenty days in jail and turned down a request for community service.

The sentence is an example of what is wrong with our prison system. I have worked with thousands of children and have four of my own children. I have never raised a hand to any child, but my sympathies are with the mother. It is ridiculous to place her in jail. In theory, jail is for purposes of rehabilitation. Her crime was understandable, and her punishment certainly could have been community service.

Homophobia Alive In Liberal Great Britain!

The 3.6 million lesbians, gays, and bisexual people in Great Britain continue encountering severe issues of bigotry and prejudice in their daily lives according to a recent study of this issue. A poll, commissioned by the equality charity, Stonewall, suggest government bodies tend to ignore the dimensions of problems encountered by gays and lesbians, particularly in schools. The YouGov poll of 1,658 gay adults found homophobic bullying in schools is more prevalent now than in previous decades. Around 30% of gays and lesbian people expect to encounter discrimination if they were to try enrolling a child at primary or secondary school and 80% believe they would encounter difficulty if they were to apply to become a school governor.

The poll reveals more confident feelings towad polce and courts but many believe they would be treated less well in a hospital. However, one in four think they would be treated less fairly by police if they became a victim of a hate crime. Nearly nine in ten claim the Conservative Party would reject their bids to seek office while 61% has this view about the Labour Party and 47% of the Liberal.

The poll uncovred stories of prejudice in the lives of children. A 14 year-old girl told a teacher in confidence of her lesbian feelings and subsequently was required to sit outside thechanging room at the beginning and end of sports lessons while the “normal children” changed. Almost two-thirds of lesbian and gay people under the age of 19 reported being bullied in school. The poll suggest schools are not doing enough to deal with prejudice against gays and lesbians.

There undoubtedly is much to be done in confronting issues faced by gays and lesbians in Great Britain. A first step is introducing more pro-active programs in schools.

British Teachers Want Metal Detectors In Schools

Britain’s Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, is considering the possibility of placing metal detectors in schools in an effort to halt the presence of knives. More than three fourths of knife crimes are found to occur in the age bracket of 12-20. She is responding to pressure from Head Teachers who believe violence is rising in their schools. According to Chris Huhne, a Liberal Democrat spokesperson, “it is sad schol lscanneers are necessary to stop a small minority of young people from carrying knives. But the number of high-profile stabbings at or outside schools in hot-spot areas for gangs means this is a senisble precaution.”

No student or teacher should fear walking into a school expecting something might occur that threatens their safety. Unfortunately, the American experience is somewhat confusing. A study of killings reveals the vast majority happen in rural or suburban schools which are considered safe places and it is unusual for shootings to occur in urban schools. This has been true even before the installation of metal detectors in urban environments. The issue of school bullying frequently is a trigger that sets off violent behavior. The issue of students feeling neglected or unsuccessful in school work is also a factor. It might pay to focus on the school bullying factor as key to reducing violence in school.

Russian Schoolboy Takes Unorthodox Stand For Religious Freedom

A 7 year old boy in Russia was taunted and beaten by classmates because he refused to participate in an Orthodox service that is part of opening the school year. Prosecutors have determined the elementary school violated the rights of David Perov. The boy’s father is pastor of the local Community of Christ Church. Although Russia’s Constitution envisions separation of church and state, the Orthodox Church has made serious inroads into imposing its presence in schools. David’s troubles began when a local Orthodox priest arrived to conduct services. He was not familiar with the religious activities and said, “I did not want to kiss the cross” which led several boys to hit him. “The teacher saw that they were beating me but said nothing.” When his mother came to pick him up he was hiding in the bathroom and she asked the teacher what had happened and was told nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. Later, a similar response was obtained from the priest. A spokesperson for the Orthodox Church said they had checked with the school and teacher and found no evidence any violence had been inflicted on David. It’s only the boy’s father who says his son was beaten.” The Russian parliament is discussing ways to cease Orthodox services in schools

Many religious leaders in Russia are still reacting to the anti-religious teachings in Soviet Communist schools. Those days are over and there is no longer any need to be defensive. Most Russians are members of the Orthodox Church and have opportunities in their daily lives to pray. Pray outside of schools.