Friday, February 22, 2008

Bullies

Today I read a scary story about a middle school student from Reading
http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-stab-feb20-cn,0,5503879.story
who was bullied and then brought a knife to school and stabbed four students. Now the boy is being placed in a "mental health program." I am concerned about my son who attends first grade the Allentown School District. He has been complaining about being bullied, and when he tries to defend himself he gets in trouble. After bringing the problem to the attention of his teacher and the principal I have concluded that there seems to be no serious punishment for the bullies who start the trouble. Then these little hooligans go right back to bullying, cruel name calling, and trying to get good kids in trouble... because they can get away with it!

It seems like kids can get away with a lot more now than they did when I was teaching just seven yrs. ago. And don't forget, this is a school district where first grade boys were raped in a bathroom at Central Elementary by an older "problem" student, who was unsupervised, and the district claimed it was not responsible. This is why I believe it is important for parents to be advocates for their children and to pay attention when a child complains about bullies. It may not be serious, but then again a small problem, if not handled properly, could escalate into what happened in Reading, or at Columbine for that matter. Now there is the "Feb.29th" threat of violence in our schools. I got a recorded phone message last night from the ASD assuring me that Allentown police are aware of this threat. But the recorded message gave me no info at all about Feb. 29th. If anyone reading this knows anything, please comment.

As a former ASD teacher I know how hard it is to control and supervise a large group of kids, and I know there are good teachers and principals who really care about the kids, but it seems like some kids are getting away with some very bad behavior. Discipline does not seem to be a priority for teachers and administrators. That's how it looks to me, now that I am a parent and see things from a different perspective.