Bullying in Schools: Are We Doing Enough?

The federal government doesn’t have an anti-bullying policy in place, but most states and school districts do. How far should we take our efforts in the fight against school bullying?

As many as 20% of pupils report being bullied at school, which equates to one in every five teenagers. Online name-calling and verbal threats are two examples of cyberbullying, but there are many more. A bullying victim’s mental health can be negatively impacted regardless of how the bullying manifests itself.

When bullying occurs, it usually occurs on school premises, whether in the hallways, the classroom, the cafeteria, or the restroom. Victimized youngsters have a hard time feeling secure while they aren’t at home. School authorities can help if a pupil feels endangered, but violent behavior is typically overlooked. Are doing enough to prevent bullying in the school raises the issue.

Governmental Measures Against Bullying

Bullying is not a criminal offense in the majority of states because there is no federal statute against it. According to PACER, it can be difficult to distinguish between bullying and harassment based on race, national origin, color, sexual orientation, or disability. It’s illegal to bully someone who isn’t getting an adequate education since it violates their civil rights (FAPE). Publicly-funded schools are obligated by federal law to act in accordance with the circumstances.

The federal government’s handling of bullying has one fundamental flaw, though. As stated in an American Psychological Association (APA) article published in February 2016, those who are bullied for non-discrimination reasons cannot claim discriminatory harassment. Civil rights legislation does not necessarily protect someone who is bullied for his weight, for example. Because of this verbal intimidation, the school might be held liable if he doesn’t show up for class, which violates his right to free and adequate education.

Bullying policies are mandated by law in every school district in the United States. Administration or the school’s handbook will provide you with recommendations on how to behave.

Consequently, cities around the country are considering legislation of their own to address bullying and other forms of violence in schools. Take the Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools District, for instance, which is located in the state of Wisconsin. Parents of bullies might face fines of up to $313 if the bill is passed. After a New York Times article from June 2019 revealed that seventh-grade students had written notes urging a classmate to kill herself, the bill was born.

If you believe that the policies of your school board are ineffective or insufficient, you should always approach the board of education. Concerns to the Office for Civil Rights could be made by parents who fear their children are being bullied at school.

Helpful related article: How to Handle A Child’s Unfriendly Parents, CyberbullyingTeaching Children to Use Social Media Wisely