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Are The Columbus Schools� Policies As Tough As Their Bullies?

Any policy that strives to stamp out bullying, whether in Columbus schools or elsewhere, is a policy toward a worthwhile endeavor. There is no excuse for officials or districts to turn a blind eye toward this type of behavior excusing it as a �kids will be kids� byproduct of a group of children. Bullying can have long lasting affects on victims and needs to be dealt with promptly and decisively. The definition of bullying to be used in Columbus schools, however, leaves something to be desired.

Columbus Schools Need a Better Definition of Bullying

The definition of bullying being used in Columbus schools describes physical, written, or verbal acts against fellow students, but adds the words "more than once." I would argue that we all know what bullying is and that there should be zero tolerance for this type of behavior. By including the statement that an act is not considered bullying unless it happens for a second time gives the bully one free shot at a victim. That is simply not acceptable in Columbus schools or anywhere else, for that matter.

If we are talking about a physical act of violence that an adult commits, do they get one freebie before it is considered a crime? Not at all! Anyone who chooses to bully another student needs to take responsibility for their actions from the very first time they behave in that manner. HELP">All acts of bullying are harmful to the victims involved, whether it's the first time or not, and administrators at Columbus schools need to step up and recognize that fact.

Consequences of Bullying Should be Spelled Out

Not only should the definition of bullying used by Columbus schools be tightened up, but the consequences for this type of behavior should also be explained in detail with the objective of making consequences a deterrent in themselves. Students and parents should know what to expect if their child is bullied and, more importantly, know the consequences should their child be the bully.

For the policy to be effective, all bullying incidents at Columbus schools must be taken seriously. All allegations of bullying need to be investigated promptly, and if they are found to have merit, the penalty should be imposed with no exceptions. It's the only way that the problem of bullying at Columbus schools and in other jurisdictions has a chance of being overcome.

Too many people have the opinion that children have always picked on each other and that's just the way it is. I believe that over time our attitudes toward what is considered acceptable behavior can and does change. The students at Columbus schools deserve to learn in an environment that encourages tolerance. The victims of bullying at Columbus schools are not the problem; the problem of bullying lies squarely with the bullies themselves.

Let's tell officials at Columbus schools that their policy needs to be rewritten so that bullying incidents are dealt with the first time they occur, not give bullies a free first shot.

Submitted by:

Patricia Hawke

Patricia Hawke is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. For more information please visit Columbus Public Schools.


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