It’s always a tragedy to hear multiple stories day in and day out about bullying occurring in our schools across the country. This is the very place where children are to learn, grow and ultimately feel safe, but that isn’t the case. Cases of extreme bullying have been quite prevalent amongst students who bully. Headlines like “Disabled 13-year-old Brooklyn girl hurled off moving bus by bully; fall breaks her collarbone” and “9-Year-Old Girl Forced to Drink Toilet Water at School” leaves us with the question: Should bullying be a considered a crime?
Bullying has been a national epidemic that has been traced back from the Columbine High School shooting which occurred back in 1999. There were allegations that bullying was the motive behind the teenage boy’s massacre shooting. In that same year Georgia was the first to put in place an anti-bullying law. There after, all states put in place laws, policies or both with the exception of Montana.
According to Georgia law, “the term ‘bullying’ means an act which occurs on school property, on school vehicles, at designated school bus stops, or at school related functions or activities, or by use of data or software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, computer network, or other electronic technology of a local school systems.” Surprisingly it doesn’t protect all students.
In Section 2 states “each local board of education shall adopt policies, applicable to students in grades six through 12, that prohibit a policy that prohibits bullying of a student by another student and shall require such prohibition to be included in the student code of conduct for middle and high schools in that school system.” Most children in grades six to 12 adhere to their school districts disciplinary action but will never make it to a court of law.
On April 16, 2009 an A and B fifth grade student from Dekalb County hung and killed himself; the cause was bullying. After the students death the school board expressed condolences, saying the school staff “works diligently to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all students.” This wasn’t the first complaint of bullying; in fact there were several complaints. So how will students 5th grade and under be reprimanded? What are your thoughts?
Do you feel parents should be held accountable for their child’s actions?
For more information on bullying please visit www.stopbullying.gov