School bullying out of control, say British Columbia parents

Squamish — Parents of bullied children and victims themselves have expressed both anger and hope on the newly formed Facebook group “Bully Free Howe Sound.”

“I am so happy this group is here because I felt rather alone,” wrote the mother of one bullied boy, who has a mild form of autism. “Haven’t any of the incidents in schools such as Columbine shown that bullying has to stop? There should be a no tolerance policy in place and used to its fullest extent.”

Bianca Peters formed the group three weeks ago — 10 months after her son began experiencing harassment and assaults at his school. Peters said she was at her wit’s end because her son’s school and the school district were ineffective in dealing with the bullying.

“It began with one child telling my son to go kill himself at the beginning of the year and ended with him being beaten up by another boy while on a school sponsored trip at the end of the year. The events during the in between months have been overwhelming,” states Peters on the website.

She said she was livid when a year-end report card alluded to her son’s responsibility in his own victimization, describing her son in a way she says she’d never heard of before. Full story.


2 Responses

  1. As a newly graduated education student, I was taught that “ZERO TOLERANCE” policies do not work. As teachers we have to be protecting the victims of bullying, however, unless we can devise a tangible way to curb the bullies actions the bullying will continue. Zero tolerance policies simply punish bullies, causing the bullies to become empowered by the negative attention in many cases. It has been documented that this kind of policy actually reinforces the unwanted behaviours. Ms. Peters is on the right track by asking for more parent involvement. Unfortunately overwhelmed and understaffed schools, and overworked, underpaid parents seem to be preventing this kind of holistic approach to solving the problem.
    This kind of forum for discussion is great, because making these issues public is the best way to force change within the system. Keep it up concerned parents!!!

    • Thanks for your constructive analysis! Is this an issue being studied in universities that are training educators? If so, what methods for handling bullying are recommended. If not, should they be teaching it? Just curious what you think, as someone just coming out of the educational system …

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