Saturday, October 22, 2011
Although we have a long way to go, the California legislation is having an effect on school bullying and also intervening legally in cases where guidelines have not been followed. For example, instead of a teacher simply telling kids to quit using a disrespectful name, stopping taunts is more effective when the teacher explains why teasing hurts and getting bullies to recall instances when they were taunted or acknowledge that they would feel hurt if they were, experts said.
"It's about making them realize what it's like," said Travis Brown, an anti-bullying speaker now on a 200-school tour.
Students must be told to intervene if they witness bullying and to accept others' differences even if they don't agree with them. That goes for teachers, too. It is illegal, for instance, to order a boy to wash off makeup if girls are also allowed to wear it.
There remains a long, slow haul to spread informative and educational programs across the country's schools, but with the help of the ACLU and other legal eagles watching over the growing movement, it will happen and we might, just might, see the near end of bullying as we know it now.
Now if we could get politicians to end bullying among their ranks and setting a poor example for the bullies of today.