Federal Anti-Bullying Law

Discussion in 'Education' started by Madeline, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. Madeline
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    The Safe Schools Improvement Act seems to be a massive federal initiative to curb bullying and harrasment in the public schools of all states. CNN's "Anderson Cooper" had a segment tonight about whether this bill "advances a gay agenda". The bill requires the schools to record and report incidents of bullying and harrasment (to who? for what purpose?) but also to "prevent and respond to incidents" of bullying and harrasment as well as report same to parents and set up a grievance procedure for same.

    The bill defines bullying and harrasment as follows:

    The objection made by Focus On Family etc. seems to be that the bill will require schools to teach students about homosexuality in order to prevent any bullying etc. based on it.

    I'm not sure exactly how such a complaint should be met. If a little kid comes from a home with two gay parents and gets teased because of it, the bill seems to require the school to put a stop to it...but how can they do this without using the words "gay" or "homosexual"? Much as it pains me to admit it, I think anti-gay folks might finally have themselves a legitimate issue here.

    I also wonder why this needs to be a federal issue. Bullying is an emerging issue, shaped in part by technology advances. Can't we allow the states or even the counties to flounder around awhile before we draw up a uniform nationwide consensus on how best to respond?

    The bill is in Committee now, and might never emerge -- but if you'd like to have an impact, this might be the best time to make your opinion known to your representative.

    H.R. 2262: Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2009 (GovTrack.us)
     
  2. California Girl
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    There is a huge difference between teaching children acceptance of others, (Note: I didn't say 'tolerance'... I dislike the word).... and 'advancing a gay agenda'.
     
  3. Madeline
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    In theory there is, but in practice? How do you teach kindergartners not to tease a child from a home with gay parents while refraining from any explanation of homosexuality? I'll admit, I prefer kidlets be taught about sex (yes, gay sex too) at a young age and did so with my own...but at the time I knew this was a violently different POV and also taught my kidlet not to share what she knew with her friends.

    The whole subject seem fraught with potential for error and abuse.
     
  4. California Girl
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    Key words when dealing with kids and sex education - Age Appropriate. It is quite easy to teach very young children about different types of family (2 moms, 2 dads, step families, multiracial or whatever) without 'sex education. That kind of thing, I have no objection to. 5 year olds being taught about any kind of sex is unnecessary.
     
  5. Madeline
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    I still think this would be better left to local school boards. And I have to wonder, in school districts like mine where cash is so scarce and the education goals are so rarely met, how exactly do we justify ladling on a duty to teach manners to the kids, report all their failings, and supply a grievance committee to hear all the bitching?

    Usually I support all the anti-bullying laws that are proposed...but I think mebbe this one is ill-advised.

     
  6. California Girl
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    The simplest way to deal, long term, with bullying is to start with very young children. If you show them that families come in all shapes and sizes, it's normal to them.
     
  7. Madeline
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    I don't disagree, CG. I just question the wisdom of this approach...seems unduly heavy-handed to me.
     
  8. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    We already have a bullying law here in NJ. I think its effective, but as a teacher, I can attest that most of the harassment goes on when adults are not present.

    Different situations need different solutions. The feds need to focus on national issues; not playground squabbles. This will just open up more lawsuits if everybody's i's are not dotted. If a local case has merit, there are already legal avenues to pursue.
     
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  9. Madeline
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  10. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    Wow. Talk about homophobia. Making a big deal out of homosexuality (either pro or con) is an adult problem; not something kids need to fret about. In the words of the great Pink Floyd "Teacher - leave them kids alone!" :lol:
     

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