Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bullying - something has to be done

But is this the solution?

Small claims rules prompt lawsuits against local school boards
Mar 30, 2010 A Law Times article reports that parents in Waterloo are using Small Claims Courts to sue school boards in cases of bullying.

A Facebook group for concerned parents, titled “Is Your Child Protected?” has attracted almost 500 members. Its founder Suzanne Borghese embraces the Small Claims Court, for which the limit increased to $25,000 this year, as an inexpensive and effective way to challenge anti-bullying programs she says aren’t working.

Brenda Bowlby, a partner at Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP, has worked with school boards for almost 30 years. She says they face a difficult balancing act when dealing with bullies and victims because of the duty of care they owe to both parties to act as a “reasonably careful or prudent parent.”  

There are solutions to bullying, it involves a lot of work, energy, education and effort on the part of students and teachers, and obviously, isn't working now.  Mind you, I was bullied by my principal in one school in which I worked. I imagine school boards don't like hearing about any of these issues. Principals are afraid to take action, they don't want to alienate parent and superintendent alike.

We talked about bullying in my classrooms. I wasn't afraid of being tough, and drawing a firm line across unacceptable behaviour.

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