Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Touchy-Feely Bully

The school district in Pocatello, Idaho is hiring a motivational speaker to teach students how to "talk" bullies into being nice:
Irving Middle School administrators brought in motivational speaker Terry Brewer Tuesday to teach students how to use humor to deflate bullies, but the district's counselors stress that the assembly is just one example of how District 25 tackles bullying every day.

“(Bullying) is one of our top three priority issues we work on all the time. It is not a novel topic. Keeping school culture safe is an absolute priority because people don't learn well in conditions that are hostile or intimidating. And the other issue, it is a matter of human dignity,” said Jefferson Elementary School counselor Jan McCormick. “These are taught values, it doesn't happen naturally. You have to teach all this - the values of pro-social development, how to get along and how to handle anger appropriately.”

While bullying continues to be a problem plaguing schools in our own backyard just as it does in schools across the country, McCormick believes District 25's students are safer than ever.

“We do think we are making terrific gains,” McCormick said. “I think schools are much safer than they used to be.”

McCormick said teachers and school counselors weave anti-bullying strategies, such as conflict management, multicultural and diversity training, into the curriculum every day, beginning in kindergarten and ending at high school graduation.
Heh. I guess the plan is for victims to tell the bully a joke in order to laugh him or her to death. Barring that, I suppose plan "B" must be to attempt to "relate" to the bully's unfulfilled Acquisitional Needs by forking over lunch money in hope of avoiding an unpleasant interpersonal conflict.
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