Archive for Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kansas State Board of Education to consider statewide anti-bullying policy

November 4, 2010


— The Kansas State Board of Education plans to discuss next week whether it should consider a statewide anti-bullying policy.

A 2008 Kansas law already requires local school boards to adopt policies to combat bullying.

But in a memo to board members, Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker says the Department of Education is researching whether other state boards of education have their own policies.

The Kansas board's interest in the topic follows reports last month of the suicides of several gay teens who'd been bullied. Board members plan to take up the issue at a meeting Wednesday.


Shardwurm 7 years, 4 months ago

It's about time.

As the parent of a victim - bad enough we could have sued and won - there should be zero tolerance. Bullying is more of a threat to our children than toy pistols.

Matt Torres 7 years, 4 months ago

There is going to be a huge contrived "anti-PC" backlash against this effort. People are going to start making ridiculous arguments about people forcing their kids to think homosexuality is "okay" or somesuch nonsense. Not everyone, but it's going to come up.

I think the correct response to bullying is not making a kid feel like he has to "like" a kid or think a certain way about them, but rather to emphasize that bullying a child--marginalizing or making them feel unwelcome at school because of their appearance/dress/gender/etc--impacts the bullied child's ability to learn.

In short, you can think whatever you want about a can not like him, you can think his sexuality is wrong, but kids need to feel comfortable and safe at school so they can focus on their education. Any kid who who does something to deny/impede the right of another kid needs to be called out on it and disciplined. It's basic decency.

countrygirl 7 years, 4 months ago

So it's Ok for a group of kids to gang up on another one and beat him up? Call him names? Teach your kids to act like that now and you'll be visiting them in jail. Compete is one thing--being ganged up on is another. Competing and bullying are two totally different subjects. I do hope you're teaching your children the difference.

Matt Torres 7 years, 4 months ago

I really am flabbergasted at how far some people are willing to stretch to turn everything into an "anti-PC" issue.

What does bullying have to do with "competition"? This is why I get so annoyed with people who are so staunchly free-market about everything. It's like trying to use a hammer to fix every problem in your house. A hammer is a great tool for certain jobs, but if you try to use it to screw in your new thermostat, you're going to end up with a hole in your wall.

The concept of a free-market is a fine idea and it works great applied to economics in a lot of situations, but honestly, we are talking about children here. Kids deserve the opportunity to feel comfortable and safe at school. If some kid is calling another kid fat, ugly or gay or stupid, it needs to be addressed. Bullies don't need to be sent to some kind of straw-man liberal "tolerance camp" that exists in the minds of tea-partiers, but they need to understand that while they have a right to feel however they want about another child, it is unacceptable for them to abuse their fellow students.

We're not talking about thought-police out on the streets of Lawrence keeping people from speaking their mind. We're talking about kids here, kids whose parents entrust them to the public school system all day.

Frankly, if you think trying to stop kids from being nasty bigots with each other is "coddling", then I pity you.

Clevercowgirl 7 years, 4 months ago

I am so glad that bullying is finally being addressed in school. I think that this behavior has been tolerated way too long. One of my most vivid Jr. High memories is of a tough girl, for no apparent reason, threatening to beat me up in the bathroom. How awesome would it have been in an environment where the kids were taught to have zero tolerance for bullying. It's about time.

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