Bullying gone wild: Schools suspend student witnesses
Schools have increasingly mishandled recent incidents of bullying by often going after the victims of bullying rather than the bullies. In two recent examples of this damnable approach by public schools to the issue of bullying, the schools involved chose to punish the student witnesses of ongoing bullying.
A Florida school system suspended an exemplary student who became fed up with the ongoing bullying of a special education student on her school bus. In this case, the student was suspended for complaining too often to the school and others of the outrageous victimization she witnessed every day riding the school bus.
In another example of just how bad this can get, Long Island Public Schools recently suspended a student for a fictionalized video depicting the story of a girl driven to suicide by the ongoing bullying she suffered in school.
It’s one thing for schools to do nothing in the face of bullying, but it’s an entirely different case for schools to actually punish witnesses to hostile student-on-student conduct. Each of the students tried to put a stop to the bullying taking place right under the schools’ nose, but were impeded by the school itself.
I’ve written about this issue before, pointing to cases where bullying has escalated to such a degree that students feel it necessary to bring weapons to school to protect themselves. If schools continue to act indifferent or even hostile toward reports, bullying in schools is only going to escalate.
What will it take to get schools to react?