Beating the bullies


Image created by John Hahn

What is one common trait every school in America shares? Bullies.

No matter what school you go to you will know someone who experienced bullying, or, worse yet, you will be the target.

Bullying has always been around,  and ithas been given national attention and taken seriously by many communities and through many programs. There have even been laws passed that pertain to bullying, but the effect of these moves may be weakening.

Schools always tell you to tell a trusted adult or a teacher or school staff  person if you are being bullied but what do they really do about it?

A lot of schools let the actually bully off with a warning and tell the parents, but some schools suspend the kid who did the harrassing. AtCotter you do not see much bullying at all but it still happens.

For example, in one incident which was reported to  Mr. Forney, he handled it very well. The students responsible were given three days of ISS and not allowed to participate in extracurricular activities for that time period.

In the US 48 out of the 50 states have laws pertaining to bullying and cyber bullying. In Minnesota bullying is defined as “there is an actual or perceived imbalance of power between the student engaging in prohibited conduct and the target of the behavior and the conduct is repeated or forms a pattern; or  materially and substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities or performance or ability to participate in school functions or activities or receive school benefits, services, or privileges.”

Cyber bullying is defined as “bullying using technology or other electronic communication, including, but not limited to, a transfer of a sign, signal, writing, image, sound, or data, including a post on a social network internet website or forum, transmitted through a computer, cell phone, or other electronic device.” by the state of Minnesota.

There are many laws in place to help stop bullying and cyber bulling in Minnesota as well. Most say that verbal and physical abuse by or to your peers is illegal and that your school should tell law enforcement so they can better handle the situation.

At Cotter, and all other schools, the problem of  bullying needs to stay in focus and, hopefully, one day we can have a bully free school.