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Saturday, Jul 21, 2018
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Letter of the Day

Time to turn the tide against bullies

Although there are days when I may not want to go to work, I am able to arrive each day with a considerable amount of confidence that I will be safe. Never do I step off the elevator with fear that I may be kicked, tripped, shoved, pinched or spat upon; nor have I been faced with threats of someone doing so. I am not the brunt of teasing, taunting or name-calling and never have I been deliberately alienated from taking part in staff activities. For against such things exist laws, policies and other provisions under which I am able to enjoy a safe and secure environment each day.

Whether it’s something as simple as changing employers or filing a formal complaint with our human resources department, or as serious as reporting the matter to law enforcement, the point is that we, as adults, have options. Therefore, I pose this question: Why do we expect our bullied youths to go to school each day under such duress and function normally?

From the time our children arrive at their bus stops, step off the bus and venture through the hallway to class, it is open season on selected targets by troubled aggressors known as bullies. In actuality, it is the bullies who are the minority. For there are a vast number of well-meaning students who go to school each day with the pure intent of learning and spending time with their peers

No longer should bullies be allowed to roam about in relentless pursuit of their carefully selected targets. It is time that we gear our efforts toward flushing the bullies to the surface and exposing them for the troubled youths they really are.

The system is broken and must be fixed. We cannot leave this matter in the hands of school administrators whose efforts are all too often geared in such a way as to ensure that reported incidents do not meet the technical definition of bullying and therefore will not be required to be listed as such on their school’s website.

It is the bully’s parents who should have to take time off from their jobs to sit in the office of the school guidance counselor in tears. It is the bully’s parents who should be seated in the waiting room of a psychologist’s office with their child, hoping they can be saved. It is the bully’s parents who should have to get up every morning faced with their child not wanting to go to school for fear they’ll not be accepted.

Wake up, teachers and administrators! Wake up, legislators and law enforcement! Wake up, students and peers. Wake up, parents and families. Wake up, friends and neighbors. It is time to turn the tide on bullies. It is time that they stop being allowed to fly under the radar. By implementing efforts that will displace and expose the bully, they will be able to get the help and intervention they so desperately need while bringing relief and restoring sanctity to the lives of our youths who are so negatively affected by this growing epidemic.

Tina Allen


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