Saturday, January 28, 2012

Schools and Bullying

First my comments:
This case happened in 2009.  Have things really changed?  I don't think so.  We are still hearing heartbreaking stories of kids being bullied in school, and very unfortunately, kids are still committing suicide over bullying.  THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!
Every time I hear another story like this my heart breaks and the tears flow.  Why does it have to continue?  It doesn't!!!!  I believe it is time, past time for us to take a stand.  United we stand, divided we fall.  Yes, it's an old cliche.  But it's so very true.  We must stand together to stop this senseless, hateful thing.  How are we going to do it?  By working together.  By coming up with ideas and plans together.  

The Department of Education reports that 25 percent of American students say they were bullied at least once a day. States have tried to address the issue by mandating their school districts adopt anti-bullying initiatives. But can these policies really stop school bullying and possibly save lives? CBS News correspondent Bianca Solorzano reports.
Eleven-year-old Carl Walker-Hoover had a beaming smile.
"He loved life. He loved to laugh," said Carl's mother, Sirdeaner Walker.
But soon after Carl began sixth grade at the New Leadership Charter School in Springfield, Mass., he became the target of school bullies who taunted him - even threatened to beat and kill him.
Sirdeaner Walker says she i immediately contacted the school to address the issues. But she couldn't prevent what followed.
On April 6, 2009, Carl hanged himself with an extension cord - just 10 days shy of his 12th birthday.
CBS News has identified 10 other students ages 13 to as young as nine years old who were bullied and committed suicide in the last 12 months. Suicide is so rare among children that young the CDC doesn't even consistently track the numbers.
Yale professor Young-Shin Kim has done research on what's been termed "bullycide" and has found that victims of bullying are 5.6 times more at risk of attempting or thinking about suicide.
The administrators at the New Leadership Charter School ignored CBS News' request for an interview or comment on Carl Walker's death. But CBS News has learned the school has had an anti bullying policy since 2006, and a reported intervention happened the day Carl Walker died - leaving some advocates to question whether these initiatives fix the problem or make it worse.
Author Jodee Blanco was constantly bullied throughout elementary and high school - so much so she almost committed suicide. She now tours the country talking to students about the consequences of bullying.
She believes disciplining bullies is ineffective because it creates a hostile environment; the bullying may move online and it doesn't prevent what Blanco calls the worst kind of bullying - social isolation. 
"It's the most damaging kind. … It makes you say to yourself, 'There's something wrong with me,'" she said.

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