Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Too much reality for a Tuesday night.

"9 teenagers are charged after classmate's suicide."

I don't know if the link will be free forever, but here it is.

I feel terribly, terribly sad by this.  How do you prevent something like this?  What anti-bullying policy could the school, could the state have put in place that would have caused the students to act differently?  The DA said, “The actions or inactions of some adults at the school were troublesome.”  What actions should they have taken?  What inappropriate actions did they take?

More to the point, what do I do when this happens at my school?  We were really dangerously close to something like this for a few weeks.  (The fact that it was only for a few weeks belies this statement, as the event in Massachusetts happened for most of a year.  But it was a pretty tense few weeks.)

I have never been especially in favor of courts getting involved with school bullying incidents.  It would be a tough thing to regulate, and I don't believe in "teacher as police officer."  More to the point, I guess I don't believe in "police officer as teacher."

I don't know that I believe in it now.  This is a precedent, to be sure.  I'm going to try and keep track of this.


Anonymous said...

Well as the only female in all my highschool classes for 3 out of 4 years (it's funny how few girls in advanced placement go to vocational schools), I have to say that more teacher involvement would have helped.

I was groped by a classmate in a classroom for the first and last time freshman year. The teacher ignored it, but like always they did not ignore my reaction. I was raised by bikers (literally, my dad was in a biker gang that hung out at my house), so a couple of highschool posers were not expecting me. When the teacher threatened to send tiny little me to the office for almost immasculating another student, I clamly explained that I would have to tell the Dean how he watched me being groped and did nothing, so I had to defend myself. He backed off, and my reputation was born. (Too bad no one believed it until they saw me in action. It was a long 4 years.)

JohnCosby said...

And I'm sure the hallways were littered with the bodies of people who underestimated you. It sounds like it WAS a long four years.

And you were subject to a special level of abuse as the only girl in all of your classes. (It sounds like you survived it better than some, which says a lot for you.) It's awful, but it's unquestionably true.

I'm willing to bet that you weren't the only person in your school who was feeling unsafe, and I wonder how many of them didn't have your scrapper instincts, and didn't fare as well, because of the inaction of your teachers.

And I wonder what your teachers were thinking.