Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another unfunded mandate coming down the pike?

The advocates are focusing their attention on a bill, sponsored by Representative John Rogers, a Democrat, that would require school districts to report bullying incidents and any discipline imposed to the state. The bill, one of those to be taken up at a hearing Tuesday, has the support of such groups as the Massachusetts Teachers Association, Microsoft Corp., and the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.
The Bold is for my emphasis. You can read the full article in the Boston Sunday Globe here.

To be clear, I do not support bullying. I do know what it feels like. I was called "four-eyes" and worse growing up. Once I learned to stand up for myself, the bullying stopped. Bullies pick on those who are perceived to be weaker than themselves. Once stood up to, they generally back off.

I do think with sufficient funding, the schools can provide some help in this area. In fact, I think they are already doing what they should. 

I do believe that the responsibility to address bullying falls squarely in the realm of the parents. The parents of those bullying need to create a better home environment (easier said than done). The parents of those being bullied need to help their students stand up for themselves (coddling them doesn't cut it).

I'll focus on the unfunded mandate part because that is what we should have some control over. 

Let's recognize that even if the schools were sufficiently funded to support this reporting effort, once the kids go home, what was learned and fostered in the school environment may not be reinforced at home hence wasting the effort.

What do you think?

I added a new poll in the top center column to help obtain your feedback on this issue.

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