Friday, February 10, 2006

Bully Busters!

There's an interesting experiment in bully control going on in Cape Girardeau, Missouri:
Unity is the key to solving the age old problem of school bullies and it’s getting a test this week at Alma Schrader Elementary School in Cape Girardeau.

Third grader Katie Laramore says the best advice is don’t laugh or join in with the bully. Instead, speak up for the kid that’s being bullied. Classmate Ally Hebert says people who pick on others are mean. Principal Julia Unnerstall says “Bully Busters” purpose is to break the habit of bullying or never begin the habit.

Posters are prominently displayed around the school, including some drawn by students who got pizza as a reward. Other prizes including toys, free bowling, and restaurant meals can be won by students who are given “Caught You Caring” vouchers by teachers. There is something special everyday to drive home the slogan, “Bullies Beware! Bystanders Unite!”

Bullying is humiliating to the child on the receiving end whether it’s violence or words that hurt. the feelings may never go away, especially if other students join the bully. Don’t join in, stand by friends and other students is advice on a bookmark give to every student this week.

Ms Unnerstall says, “It’s the power of the bystanders that can stop the bully in their tracks.”

Alma Schrader students also were given a list of Bully Buster Tips. Among them: No one deserves to be bullied. Say “STOP!”, when you see bullying, “Stand Up and Stand By” kids who are bullied. Ask for the same support if you are bullied.

Also on the Tip List is “Ask for help from a trusted adult.”
I have to confess that I don't have much sympathy for schoolyard bullies. Mine is reserved for the bullies' victims who go to school in constant fear of being assaulted.

It's my feeling that those students who do insist on terrorizing their classmates should be removed from mainstream student populations and placed in a more structured classroom environment where they can be under constant adult supervision.

No child should ever go to school in fear of his or her safety. End of story.
See this week's Carnival Of Education right here and our latest education-related posts over there.