About a month ago Katy posted a blog about Zachary Cataldo, a first-grader at Piedmont Avenue Elementary who was severely hurt by another student. This brought up the issue of bullying, a topic that my English class has been studying extensively for the past month.
Our assignment was to research the topic, come up with a solution (in this case a code of conduct, which is lacking at Skyline) and then present to various groups throughout the school (parents, teachers, students, faculty).
We presented last Wednesday and Thursday in groups of about 5, and now that I am more knowledgeable on the subject, I thought I’d share.
One thing I learned through this project is that bullying is hard to define and identify. My group presented to teachers and one point we discussed was that although bullying is obviously a problem at Skyline, it is hard to differentiate between bullying and “playing around” specifically in the hallways during passing period. The type of bullying I am speaking about and the type that is most common at Skyline is “sexual bullying” or sexual harassment.
The teachers said that although they feel certain behavior is inappropriate, it is hard to know when to intervene. Also, teachers felt that inappropriate behavior in the hallways is so common that it has just become normal to them. However, different teachers have different opinions about this. One group in the class even got into a heated argument with our English teacher about what is appropriate and what is not. Our teacher felt, as many others do, that any sort of touching in the hallways is inappropriate. Students disagree.
The big question, however, is how to stop this type of bullying, and bullying in general. My group focused more on preventative methods of solution rather than expulsion or suspension. But as the teachers pointed out, it will take the whole Skyline community working together to really solve the problem.
What do you guys think? What is the solution? Is there a solution to bullying or is it inevitable?