This is a major societal issue throughout all schools. Bullying comes in many forms as well. There is name-calling, cutting in lines, bossing others around, physical abuse and so much more. While in most states there are laws against bullying in school these laws are often not enforced by school authorities. This leaves parents in a situation of frustration and anger themselves. Parents go to schools to advocate for their children only to be told by teachers and principals that nothing can be done to the offending student. This is nothing more than a popularity contest. Those students not fitting the status quo are often outcast, segregated and discriminated against by not only other students but by staff as well. Letters to the superintendants and school board fall on deaf ears, as they are unwilling to believe that these issues exist in "their" schools.
For these reasons children begin to withdraw, become depressed or fight back and become bullies themselves or worse they snap mentally and incidents like Columbine High School take place. This is a sorrowful fact. So what is a child to do? Telling a teacher is called tattling. Telling the principal results in a "problem solving" session in which the child being bullied is lectured while the bully is in the classroom with no consequences. Again I ask...where does this leave the bullied child?
Do we try to force our children to "fit in" just to make it through school? Do we send them to therapists to keep them mentally stable in the face of the ignorance of others? Do we put them on drugs to make them complacent? Or do we teach our children that they don't deserve to be treated like dirt? Individuality is part of being a melting pot country although most people cannot or will not respect that fact. They automatically judge others based on looks, race, religion, etc. It's about time that schools begin to teach non-segregation and treat all as equals. It starts with the adults in the schools and then the children learn from them. When a student sees a teacher showing favoritism then the student believes that it is all right to segregate based on favorites as well. This needs to be stopped. Parents can teach this all they want, but when a child's peers are mistreating them the parents are left to deal with the aftermath of that situation. Often times the aftermath of the situation will take days or weeks for the child to get over. The scars left on the delicate mind of a child are left forever. When a child comes home and says, "Everyone at school hates me" there is a problem....a serious problem. These types of problems are not the fault of the child. It is the result of a multitude of children harassing the young child who just cannot understand why no one likes him or her. As the child gets older the problems get worse. It becomes fistfights, poor grades, skipping school, doing drugs to escape the issues of dealing with the other students.
Every teacher or principal that ever makes a child feel inferior should be relieved from duty....immediately. Every student that bullies another student in anyway should have all school privileges taken away for the rest of the year. A second infraction should result in expulsion. It is the duty of every teacher, principal, noon aide, and volunteer to actively listen to the children in their care. If the child is having a problem it should be address right then....not wait until the child can't remember the details of the situation or has forgotten about it. There is no waiting to put a murderer in jail...why do you wait to punish a bully? This is unacceptable. A bully is the murderer of innocence. A once loving and sweet child will become withdrawn, downcast and no longer talk to anyone about any issue. Is this how we want our children to be? Is this the child we want to live with? Or do we want to continue to allow the jocks to beat up the nerds, Goths, geeks, etc.? I thought equality meant equal rights for ALL...not just the favorites.