Theresa Marchetta, Investigative Reporter for Denver ABC-TV station, KMGH-TV reports in an article and video on a two more incidents in different Denver area schools in which principals made the bullied girls (aged 7 and 12) do all the changing while nothing happened to the bullies. They were clear cases of, “Blame the victim, avoid the bully.” This, parents’ say, despite the clear policies the school districts involved already have to protect their kids
Clearly, even if there are laws (which there often aren’t), even if there are policies (which there often aren’t), even if there are handbooks (which there often aren’t); that’s not enough. Obviously, it takes more than pieces of paper to stop bullying.
Even if the necessary paperwork is in place, it takes principals who are willing to act swiftly and decisively in order to stop teasing, taunting, harassment, cyberbullying, emotional and physical bullying and abuse.
Of course, that means that principals must be willing to stop difficult children and often resist their bullying fathers and mothers who threaten to sue the principal and school district administrators. Principals know where bullying kids learned to bully.
Of course, principals will tend to turn on the targets who they think will be more malleable and less prone to sue.
The first obvious solution is new principals who are upright and courageous, and who will rally all children and parents to help stop bullies.
The second obvious solution is to require principals and district administrators to stop bullies or be fired. That will give them the impetus to stand up for what they know is right.
We all know the consequences of allowing bullies to get away with maybe a lecture (if even that) and then allowing them continued contact with their targets, the bullying and violence will increase.
The approach of the two principals makes the targeted children feel helpless and that their situation is hopeless. It starts them down the path to being victims for life. It destroys self-confidence and self-esteem. It stimulates anxiety, stress, guilt, negativity and self-mutilation. It starts children toward isolation, depression and suicide.
Whatever their reasons, excuses and justifications, would you want to pay those principals to be responsible for your children’s safety? I wouldn’t.
Colorado Senate is currently considering a bill to start fighting bullying. According to District 30 House Representative Kevin Priola, “School should be a safe place where kids can go and excel and learn to do reading, writing and math and not have to worry about fear of intimidation.”
Wheat Ridge Rep. Sue Schafer said, “Most importantly, there is research showing that when there is a high level of safety, the CSAP scores go up. Conversely, low safety, CSAP scores go down. This bill is going to raise the awareness of our school boards and our administrators that this has become a serious problem and our bill asks or encourages every school district to do a climate survey.”
The bill doesn’t go far enough or fast enough for the parents of the two girls, who need effective action from their principals right now.
Personally, they’ll have to work hard to keep their daughters’ spirits up.
If your children are the targets of bullies and school officials who aren’t protecting them, you need to take charge. With expert coaching and consulting, we can become strong and skilled enough to overcome principals and other officials who won’t do what’s right. We can plan tactics that are appropriate to us and to the situation.
“How to Stop Bullies in Their Tracks” and “Parenting Bully-Proof Kids,” have many examples of children and adults commanding themselves and then stopping bullies. For more personalized coaching call me at 877-8Bullies (877-828-5543).