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[P]
Bill to Ban School Bullying Introduced in Washington State

By Tumbleweed in News
Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 05:33:12 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

A bill was introduced to the Washington State legislature by the governor that would force schools to have 'anti-bullying' procedures in place, in an effort to proactively prevent escalation to school violence. Finally, someone seems to understand one of the causes! Here's a link to the story in the local news.


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Mentioned in a previous article (which Slashdot, despite numerous 'Voices from the Hellmouth' articles, saw fit to reject as an article submission), the method that kids can use to report bullying is supposed to be anonymous, which I can see some cause for concern about. I think the benefits far outweigh the potential for abuse, though.

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Bill to Ban School Bullying Introduced in Washington State | 51 comments (30 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
Why is reporting needed? (4.25 / 8) (#2)
by DesiredUsername on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 02:25:29 PM EST

Let me first say that I think "anti-bullying" policies are a good idea. Let me also say that a school that doesn't already have one should be forced by law to have one (or shutdown for incompetence maybe?).

But why do the victim's need to report bullies in (even anonymously)? Think back to when you were in grade/high school. Didn't all the students pretty much KNOW who the victims and who the bullies were? A teacher who can interact with a class (even a class of 30 or more) every day for 9 months and STILL not know who the problem children are should have his/her license revoked.

So YES to a policy but NO to placing the responsibility for enforcement on the children.

Play 囲碁
License revoking (4.50 / 4) (#4)
by Flavio on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 02:30:49 PM EST

> But why do the victim's need to report bullies in (even anonymously)? Think back to when you were in grade/high school. Didn't all the students pretty much KNOW who the victims and who the bullies were? A teacher who can interact with a class (even a class of 30 or more) every day for 9 months and STILL not know who the problem children are should have his/her license revoked.

Something I learned in my short life is that most people out there are either too lazy, too incompetent or too evil to do the right thing unless there's some punishment involved.

I believe that bully reporting is the best approach to solve the problem given the circumstances.

[ Parent ]
Hopefully this is the first step. (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by Sheetrock on Sun Jan 28, 2001 at 08:50:54 AM EST

I just question how seriously this law would be taken. My personal experiences have shown me that teachers and staff at public schools prefer to just look at the floor when this sort of thing goes on. I had problems in junior high that went unresolved but disappeared and never occurred again the rest of the time I attended school (across two private schools -- a junior high and a high school -- where teachers and staff really seem to care about providing a learning environment). I'd heard later from a relative in the school district that more than one teacher had been aware of what I had been going through but didn't get involved for one reason or another. My cousin is having a horrendous time at his elementary school, but the prevailing thought there is 'boys will be boys' and my aunt can't afford to move him to a school where he can get a fresh start (school vouchers would be a good thing). The high school isn't much better -- for example, a friend of mine had gotten punched by a bully and the school, attempting to impart a serious lesson, suspended them both for three days for fighting. Many of the people causing problems at the school don't want to be there and wouldn't be if we didn't have truancy laws or if the school would expel the students that aren't there to learn, but what kind of lesson would that teach?

Before I read Hellmouth, I'd assumed that this was just another example of crackheadedness in my area... it's pretty clear to me now that this is a nationwide situation. The problem is really threefold: parents are becoming increasingly unfit and reluctant to teach their children how to function in and contribute to society, schools are becoming increasingly inhospitable to learning and the people who run them less and less willing to get involved with the students, and society is becoming less judgmental of people who detract from it. Schools are the focus because that's where the problem is being noticed (just now, apparently) and that's where fixes need to be made first, but we're just kidding ourselves if we aren't ultimately pointing the finger at parents.

Sure, increasing awareness of this problem is A Great Thing, and this is a step in the right direction, but in practical terms what would this law mean? Who says reporting bullies has to be anonymous, for example? Will students be punished for bullying (and will that help?) or will they haul in the bully and the victim and their parents for a talk with the principal (and will that help?) If the parents of the bully say that there's no damned way the school is going to tell them how to raise their kid, are the parents of the bully told to move their child to a new school, is the bully's/victim's schedule changed to avoid points of conflict, or does the principal shrug his shoulders and recommend weekly visits to the school counselor and a good psychiatrist for the victim? What happens if there are a group of bullies as there almost always is -- would this situation ever be taken seriously, or is it just the victim's fault for being a victim? Is there going to be any penalty if the teachers/staff just continue pretending that they aren't seeing what's going on? Can the schools just write down what they've been doing all along and call it a policy?

It's a step in the right direction, but it's not going to fix the problem.

[ Parent ]

Easy to hide (4.25 / 4) (#6)
by reshippie on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 02:56:00 PM EST

In general, you don't see much bullying going on in class. It goes on in the halls, and outside at recess, or out of school.

Halls aren't always easy to monitor, especially if teachers have to prepare for their next class. Recess is generally not watched by teachers, I always had lunch ladies watching me. And outside of school, well there don't tend to be too many teachers on the route between home and school.

So long as the bully is smart, and doesn't really do much in the presence of others, I wouldn't think it'd be that hard to hide.

Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)
[ Parent ]

Obviously you were never a victim or a teacher (4.66 / 3) (#25)
by DesiredUsername on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 08:00:37 PM EST

"So long as the bully is smart, and doesn't really do much in the presence of others, I wouldn't think it'd be that hard to hide."

Bullies, especially grade school bullies, don't do a cost-benefit analysis for every act of teasing, hurting and name-calling they do. Sure, they don't pants a kid right in front of a teacher--but neither do they wear gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints. Bullies are the way they are for emotional reasons (that doesn't excuse it, though). If they were rationally deducing the best time and method to bully someone, they could just as easily rationally deduce why they shouldn't be doing it.

Imagine this: You are a teacher who has not been monitoring the hall. You hear a disturbance outside your classroom but do not investigate (no time, whatever). When the children file in, they are all looking at one of two boys--one is scuffed up, the other is looking proud/defiant. This isn't a court of law, it's pretty easy to determine what happened. Over time incidents like these let you identify the kids that seem to be the most frequent abusers (vs abusees) and put them in some special watch group or program to help them with their "issues" (or spank them for Jesus, or whatever your method is).

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Actually, I was a victim (none / 0) (#42)
by reshippie on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 02:08:00 PM EST

I guess the guys I ran into were just a little smarter. They did it a recess when there were no real teachers there, or outside of school, where they were less likely to get caught.

Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)
[ Parent ]
Legislation not the answer (4.11 / 9) (#8)
by sugarman on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 03:01:20 PM EST

Making a law will not reduce the problem. If anything it will only make things worse. In schools, the small (relative) population, and the close proximity of the community means that the student population usually knows exactly who is going on. Anonymity wil be very hard to defend.

Even if the incident isn't reported by the victim, but a 3rd-party witness / bystander, the rerpercussions against the victim would likely be worse than what caused the incident. The (honest) protests of denial by the victim would likely make any retalitory actions against him longer, and more tortuous.

Lastly, the risk of false accusations could also hamper the process. Some kids have thinner skins than others, and might treat a brush-by in the hallway as "harrasment". This again will escalate the situation, because the act has now been legislated against. It is no longer "horseplay" but now criminal behaviour.

I know this is only a proposal, not yet a law, but I feel this could be a dangerous thing if implemented. I hope it doesn't come to pass.

--sugarman--

Fighting the wrong problem....... (4.09 / 11) (#9)
by daystar on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 03:02:06 PM EST

School bullying is the natural consequence of forcing stupid kids to be educated along with smart kids. As long as we've decided (as a culture) that everyone has to be educated together, there's going to be violence. We should let the natural cognitive stratification take place. Education would be easier, there would be less violence in schools and smarter kids wouldn't be held back by their "peers".

Or maybe I'm just an elitist dick. :-) (tm)

--
There is no God, and I am his prophet.

Exactly (4.87 / 8) (#10)
by bearclaw on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 03:25:26 PM EST

Heterogenous education (I beleive that is the "teaching" term) is just stupid.

Every student I know who is becoming a teacher thinks it is a waste of time, most teachers I've spoken to agree. It doesn't make sense.

My friend is beginning his new job, he teaches algebra to 7th grade students (Maryland, USA) ... he has students who don't know if 1 is greater than 0. Yes, you read that correctly. 1 > 0 !? What is 1 + 1? Not 2, according to a lot of middle-schoolers. But, teachers are forced to teach everyone.

I'm not saying abandon those who can't keep up, I'm saying we should teach to everyone's level. If you can't learn algebra, you need to learn the basics - social promotion is stupid.


-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
Age stratification (none / 0) (#43)
by Erf on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 02:12:50 PM EST

If you can't learn algebra, you need to learn the basics - social promotion is stupid.

I agree. I wonder if this might be helped by somehow reducing the age stratification in schools. As things now stand, it's just bizarre for you to be in a class of people who aren't your age -- so being held back is extremely taboo, and being advanced is just plain weird.

I wonder if it might be possible to somehow mix things up. It'd have to start early (elementary school) for it to be accepted as "normal", and I have no idea how it might be done, but I think it's possible.

Last semester I was renting a room in a "family housing" section of a university, and I met a couple of kids who were in home-schooling. They said the best part of it was that they spent their time mingling with people of all different ages, from babies to grade-schoolers to university students and onward. And of course they learned as fast or as slow as they wanted.

-Erf.
...doin' the things a particle can...
[ Parent ]

You're getting close. (5.00 / 5) (#15)
by Seumas on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 03:35:49 PM EST

Public schools are intended to provide the best education to the greatest number of children at the lowest possible cost.

Unfortunately, we forgot that somewhere along the way. Now we provide twelve years of babysitting for children who would rather be duct-taping small explosives to domesticated pets, shoving broom-handles up weaker kids' asses and disrupting classes. We provide entire fleets of specialists for every child with every possible disability (learning and otherwise) under the sun, regardless of the expense to progress and education for the masses.

Worse, these trouble-makers and others are legally obligated to attend school and ruin it for the rest of us who could have made better use of the resources and energy and attention that otherwise had to be spent on keeping them in-line.

The way I've always seen it is that if your kid doesn't want to make use of his free education, then he doesn't need to be in school and he's your responsibility from that point on -- not ours. Let those who want to be educated use the system to its full potential and let the trouble-makers sweep our streets, if that's all they aspire to.

Disabled children requiring specialized care and education would be better served by specialized educations, not immersed with general classes in public schools where they're more of an inconvenience to the other students. It isn't fair to the students and it isn't fair to the child. The trouble-making children either need to attend a seperate school where attention can be given and, if they can't or won't make use of that, to hell with them. Some people are just a lost cause.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Oooh! Good perspective. (5.00 / 4) (#17)
by daystar on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 03:53:51 PM EST

Public schools are intended to provide the best education to the greatest number of children at the lowest possible cost.
Brilliantly put. I think that at this point in history, we can see that there are benefits to the level of education that really bright people are capable of. I think we could move toward optimising for the highest levels of education, rather than making sure noone gets left behind. Even if some people (who clearly weren't learning anyhow) get slightly neglected, I think we'd be better off. Of course, there should be a rational level of trade-off between our current set-up...

As an aside, I went to a public school on an indian reservation where indian students would show up for first grade having never heard a word of english. Since it was a small school (48 people in my graduating class), there was no way to seperate the few students who could READ. I'm still bitter about the whole thing.

--
There is no God, and I am his prophet.
[ Parent ]

Not leaving anyone behind. (5.00 / 5) (#19)
by Seumas on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 05:20:42 PM EST

You mention promoting the highly intelligent. I don't think that should be a prerequisite for public education. What I do think is that only those who want to learn should be grouped together. Regardless of race, creed, IQ level -- if you have a thirst for knowledge, you deserve to be in an environment where it can be fostered. This is difficult to do when the teacher has to provide a "one size fits all" course, to cover those who would rather be getting high and getting five-finger discounts at the mall along with everyone else.

Slower people (I consider myself to be of average intellect, at best) should be welcomed into the general flow of education, as long as the desire to learn is there. In short, public school should not be an obligation, but a privelege to be excercised by anyone and everyone who wants an education. If you don't want it, fine -- don't let the door hit you on the ass and have fun pumping my gas at minimum wage for the rest of your life.

Now, as an aside, several things stick in my memory from public school.

The first was that in junior-high and highschool, I recall being encouraged by several teachers to complete all the 'extra work' I cared to, and it would be counted toward my credits for graduation. Within a month, I had completed an entire year's worth of material and completed the tests as required. When time came to ask about the credits I would be granted, I was told that it was not going to happen. It was too unfair to the other students who did not do the extra work.

Yes. Doing extra work and being credited for it was unfair to the students who did not get credit for not doing the work. I suppose that means that it's unfair for students who do the minimal work to be allowed to graduate, because that is grossly unfair to those who didn't do any work whatsoever.

The second incident actually happened in my freshman year. During a typical spelling test (keep in mind, I tested in school in the 99th percentile for spelling -- and have since spiraled downward, maintaining the spelling capability of a toothpick), my teacher (who wasn't really a teacher, but was placed into a teaching position as an addition to his track-coaching duties), paired me up with a student who was new to the U.S. In our class, you paired with someone, who read the words to you and then you wrote the correct spelling down. Then you handed the tests to yet a third student for correction.

Now, this student spoke english. But they did not speak it well. As a result, I failed EVERY question on the test. The words the student was giving me were real words -- they just weren't the words that were on the test. The teacher apparently found it amusing and I'm pretty certain paired me up with this person intentionally. This was the first time I had ever failed a test. Period. Every. In my entire life. It brought my grade down drastically, since it was an end of the quarter grade-marker.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Average intelligence (none / 0) (#32)
by vectro on Sun Jan 28, 2001 at 12:07:41 AM EST

If you've never failed a test in your life, save once, then you are not, as you say, of average intelligence. I suspect such is modesty. ;) Plus, I doubt your averaged-IQ american reads Kuro5hin, to be a bit elitest.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Based on My Experience... (none / 0) (#45)
by Matrix on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 03:35:50 PM EST

...If you've never failed a test in your life, you're above 80% of the population. Even if the tests didn't accuractely measure intelligence, they probably measured things related to intelligence, like understanding or work habits. At the very least, even if you are of "average" intelligence, you're above normal in some way.


Matrix
"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

I'm prolly rather average mysefl... (none / 0) (#48)
by Joshua on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 10:39:10 AM EST

I'm not remarkably intelligent. I did rather badly in middle school, and dropped out of high school at 15. I did, however, manage to learn a lot about computers through that time, which has kept me doing things like eating and living the kind of life I want to live, but I am not overly intelligent. My programming skills have gone to hell and I am having a hard time getting them back because I don't have much concentration. I can do a bit of windows troubleshooting, so my job as a network admin for an NT network is pretty easy, but I am rather a slacker. I'm not smart, I'm just inquisitive and enjoy debate and conversation, and that is why I read kuro5hin.

Cheers, Joshua

[ Parent ]

Yah: REALLY fighting the wrong problem! (-: (1.00 / 1) (#49)
by leonbrooks on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 10:57:49 AM EST

School bullying is the natural consequence of forcing stupid kids to be educated along with smart kids.
I'd be more general than that. It's a natural consequence of kids being ``educated'' instead of learning, and being forced to interact with people whom they'd avoid if given a choice.

Think about it: if a law were passed that forced every adult to sit in the same room with the same 20 or 30 other randomly chosen adults for six hours a day, 200 days a year, and do boring stuff, there'd be nationwide riots. Why are children forced to do this?

Really, boring stuff? Yup! The bright kids get bored because there's nothing interesting left to do, and the dumb ones are bored because they don't understand what they're studying. Bright and dumb are interchangeable by topic, mood, teacher, time of day/month and a thousand other factors, so most school-kids are bored most of the time.

Not so bad if they can learn at their own pace with some continuity (Steiner) and some consequences (Montessori). Even better if they either get to choose their companions (and revise those choices if they wish) and/or learn with people they already know how to get along with (home schooling).

There is no God, and I am his prophet.
If you ever visit Mecca, can I please be named beneficiary in your life insurance policy? (-:

Seriously, go and read articles from a few sites like Answers in Genesis. You might, uh, prophet from the experience. Most of the science on which you base that decision is demonstrably wrong. For example, the solar wind basically stopped in March 1999 for two days - how can a nuke do that? It can't. The Sun is not nuke-powered (heck, once science thought of it as a big ball of burning coal), the nuke effects are incidental to its operation. There are many pieces of evidence which say that, and this is only one of thousands of demonstrably wrong assumptions treated as sacrosanct by modern science (and incidentally by the yoyos who maintain talk.origins).

Have a good life. (-:
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]

excuse me (none / 0) (#51)
by cronio on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 10:56:08 PM EST

There are many pieces of evidence which say that, and this is only one of thousands of demonstrably wrong assumptions treated as sacrosanct by modern science

That's part of science...come up with a theorem and try to prove it right/wrong. If it's proven wrong, people say "ok, we were wrong," and go on with life, revising all their assumptions based on whatever was proven wrong. You think blind faith and never wanting to know whether or not you're right that there's a god is better than that?

[ Parent ]
It's really simple. (4.26 / 15) (#12)
by Seumas on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 03:27:10 PM EST

Ban bullying? Doing physical harm to someone and/or harassing them is already illegal. Instead of creating a rediculous new law, let's just enforce the ones we already have. Further, a new piece of legislation won't help when teachers already look the other way when it comes to bullying now.

I don't see that being bullied is the worst thing in the world. When I was in third grade, I was bullied by an eight grade kid. I kicked his ass and no other person ever laid a hand on me for the rest of my years in school. Now, what would it have taught me if I had to run to a lawyer and the police and file chargest to put this big meanie in a correctional facility?!

Granted, for persistant cases of harassment or extreme cases of attacks, then by all means, prosecute -- but again, we don't need new laws. It's already illegal to beat someone up. Duh.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

The Proposed Law Addressed Something Else (4.83 / 6) (#24)
by sigwinch on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 07:41:28 PM EST

Ban bullying? Doing physical harm to someone and/or harassing them is already illegal. ... Further, a new piece of legislation won't help when teachers already look the other way when it comes to bullying now.

(Disclaimer: I didn't actually read the proposed law.)

The proposed law addresses that problem: it explicitly makes schools responsible for not looking the other way.

Granted, for persistant cases of harassment or extreme cases of attacks, then by all means, prosecute -- but again, we don't need new laws. It's already illegal to beat someone up. Duh.

Trouble is, prosecuting children does not change the culture of violence of a bad school. The law attempts to make the school adults directly and personally responsible, even if their offense is "only" apathy. And by making the real problem an offense, it might allow RICO (racketeer-influenced and corrupt organization law) and similar laws to take effect.

Of course, the proposed law can only help if the problem is school personnel being a little lazy and apathetic, or just oblivious to bullying. I suspect the real problem lies in adults that are either deeply apathetic or actively malicious. In that case, the solution is to put a charismatic, competent leader in charge of the school. Hmm...perhaps school superintendents should be reviewed and confirmed by legislators, like some judges and other appointed positions. That has obvious challenges, but I wonder if anybody has tried it?

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

depends on the actual offense (4.00 / 1) (#38)
by SEAL on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 01:49:03 AM EST

And by making the real problem an offense, it might allow RICO (racketeer-influenced and corrupt organization law) and similar laws to take effect.

In cases like this, the existing laws are already being used to deal with this sort of criminal behavior. What I'm talking about is beyond simple bullying. There was an influx of gang activity the last couple years I was in high school. These people were racketeering, in a nutshell, amongst other things. People paying them protection money.

One of the students at my high school was an undercover cop. That's how a lot of these gang shitheads got put away. And really, that's the best way to deal with it. Anonymous tips aren't half as useful to the police as firsthand observation. Unfortunately they usually don't have the resources to do that everywhere it's needed.

- SEAL

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
[ Parent ]

You wern't bullied (5.00 / 7) (#36)
by Paul Johnson on Sun Jan 28, 2001 at 05:53:11 PM EST

I don't see that being bullied is the worst thing in the world. When I was in third grade, I was bullied by an eight grade kid. I kicked his ass and no other person ever laid a hand on me for the rest of my years in school.

Then you wern't bullied. Someone tried to bully you and didn't succeed.

Now imagine that you tried to "kick his ass", but missed. So he grabbed you, threw you in the mud, and then kicked you back in when you tried to get out. Then a horde of other kids came along and laughed at you.

Now imagine going back to school the next day. Maybe this is going to happen to you again. You aren't going to be able to stop it. Everyone you meet that day either saw you screaming hysterically whilst sitting in the mud, or has since heard about it.

Now imagine an entire childhood composed of such incidents.

Bullying is child abuse.

Paul.
You are lost in a twisty maze of little standards, all different.
[ Parent ]

Sorry, (3.83 / 12) (#14)
by trhurler on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 03:32:53 PM EST

but I have to disagree, even though I was bullied in school. The simple fact is, anonymous reporting is the wrong method of handling this sort of thing. Real bullies will find out who is responsible, so the anonymity does no good. People falsely accused will have little recourse, and even if the school decides that nothing happened and punishes the person who reported them, imagine the hassle and embarassment. The lesson we should be teaching kids is how to stand up to aggressors, expose them, and see them dealt with accordingly - not now to hide behind an anonymous reporting system, ala the USSR. Sure, they might get bullied some more - and the way to deal with that is to expel the offender and/or hand him over to the police for further action.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Don't be sorry. (none / 0) (#50)
by elenchos on Wed Jan 31, 2001 at 03:46:49 AM EST

I find your posts serve me as an unfailing guide, especially when I am faced with a challenging issue and have trouble disentangling the ambiguities. After I have read your perspective, however, it seems silly for me to have ever been unsure as to which side was right and which was wrong.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

"A game called suicide" on Salon.com (4.66 / 9) (#18)
by Speare on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 03:56:55 PM EST

Just finished reading this article, http://salon.com/mwt/feature/2001/01/26/katch/index.html.

An interesting excerpt:

    Q: When you began your research on children's play, you tried to focus exclusively on issues of violence. But when you reviewed the tapes of the children speaking, you found that they were continually talking about issues of exclusion. At first, you cut out those parts of the tape. What made you decide that violence and exclusion were closely linked?

    A: It seemed as though the exclusion led to violence -- in two different ways. First, the excluded child felt entitled to get revenge. Second, the children doing the excluding felt entitled to be violent toward the excluded child because that child had been labeled as being different. One boy remembered being called a girl and then hit. Another boy said he was called a baby and then pushed down. So it seemed that just the fact of being excluded, of being considered different from the others, was enough to make them feel entitled to be hurtful.

A very interesting article all the way through, even though this is addressing 5 ~ 8 year olds more than older children.


[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]
Continues well after 5-8 (none / 0) (#30)
by fluffy grue on Sat Jan 27, 2001 at 04:29:07 PM EST

Just ask Jennifer Diane Reitz or just about any other transsexual out there... I'm sure that geeks can typically relate.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Isn't that obvious? (none / 0) (#47)
by Joshua on Tue Jan 30, 2001 at 10:24:00 AM EST

What made you decide that violence and exclusion were closely linked?

Perhaps because he has some amount of common sense (is there even such a thing?), or perhaps even a slight memory of his childhood years! I don't know about all of you, but I seem to remember being an "outcast" in school, and having my own little group of friends with whom I was accepted (mostly). Of course the people who feel like they're not part of a group, and feel like they have no friends are going to get violent or have violence done against them, I didn't need to be told this, and I certainly didn't need tapes to see it!

Be groovy, Joshua

[ Parent ]

Similar law being considered in CO (4.55 / 9) (#21)
by Erbo on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 05:48:30 PM EST

See this article. The Colorado Senate Education committee has approved the bill, and it will be considered by the full Senate next.

Now, it's easy to get cynical and think that this is as much a knee-jerk reaction to Columbine as the gun-show background checks measure that passed here last November. But gun-control measures only prevent the big, flashy tragedies (and sometimes don't even do a very good job of it); this measure will help prevent and/or ameliorate the little tragedies that occur every day in schools throughout Colorado. (They happen all over the country, but this is something that will have to be enacted at the state level or lower; the Federal Government isn't inclined to tackle this issue at the moment, and doesn't have a lot of jurisdiction over education anyway, no matter what Dubya might have to say.)

I'm not going to excuse Klebold and Harris for what they did; I am a Coloradan only by adoption, but I agree that what they did was unimaginably horrible and they were pretty much nuts for even considering it. However, if what drove them to these actions was the bullying of their peers (which may have been unofficially condoned, or at least ignored, by the school administration), then their tormentors share a certain amount of the moral responsibility for the massacre. That's something they'll have to live with...and maybe, by attacking this problem at its source, we can keep this sort of thing from ever happening again.

Eric
--
Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org

Help me please... Stop me before I click `post.' (4.60 / 10) (#39)
by elenchos on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 02:53:37 AM EST

I can't stand it, I'm sorry. I just CAN'T help asking...
    Attorney General Christine Gregoire [...] plans to bring someone who lived through the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colo., to Olympia to drive home the point.
So, um... like, is there someone in particular you call to book a Columbine survivor? Do they have a scale, like you can get the guy who was out back smoking a bowl and ran off when he heard the first shots, for like, basically just travel expenses and a T-Shirt. But if you want an actually live witness to the gruesome library scene, well... You need to have your people call their people and see if you can be worked in, you know we got calls from Oprah, we got calls from Dr. Laura, and congressional hearings in seven states, you know. You want a kid in a wheelchair it's really gonna cost you, you realize that, right?...

OK, OK, I'm sorry! But isn't that how it sounds? Like the Columbine survivors are just another celebrity commodity, next they'll be touring with the Ice Capades, you know?

I guess to me the whole Columbine thing should be treated as somewhat sacred, not just another tool for politicians to manipulate, like when the president needs a photo op or wants to put a human face on their next bill signing. The idea of just `bringing one of them in,' like they are available to be brought in like that whenever you need one...

Well, I don't like it, that's all.

Adequacy.org

Unfortunately, this sentiment has been around... (none / 0) (#46)
by slambo on Mon Jan 29, 2001 at 04:43:51 PM EST

... for quite a while. My wife and I grew up in Manhattan Beach, CA. About 15-20 years ago (I don't remember the exact year offhand), there was a national brouhaha over McMartin Preschool; some of the instructors there were convicted of child molestation. We know a few people who were students there when the whole thing happened.

The unfortunate part is that these friends of ours are still running from the media who want "just one more interview" even today.
--
Sean Lamb
"A day without laughter is a day wasted." -- Groucho Marx
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