Putting Education Reform To The Test

Feedback Loop: What To Do About Bullying


We’ve talked about bullying several times this week.  As the movie “Bully” opens in theatres, students in South Florida are sharing their own painful experiences.

We also heard about the suicide of a teenager who classmates say was a victim of bullying and harassment at school. The New Jersey teen was a family friend of Port Richey Rep. John Legg. Legg was so moved by the tragedy he wrote a letter to Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson encouraging aggressive action against such behavior. “No child should feel this threatened anywhere,” he wrote.

Readers were particularly interested in John O’Connor’s story about whether bullying is really an epidemic.  An essay written for the Wall Street Journal suggests it isn’t.

Reader Angel said the problem is real:

It is not over hyped, especially in 19 states that allow corporal punishment in schools.  In my state of Georgia, over 21,000 instances of corporal punishment was recorded.  I say its the schools/educators who are the bully.

Reader sds also took issue with the idea that bullying isn’t such a big concern:

If you think this isn’t a problem you are deluding yourself!!  It is NOT a small issue, it continues and cannot be tolerated or ignored!

Jim Corcoran offered another perspective:

Forget tougher punishments and hiring more police for schools. The solution to crime and violence is in your lunchroom.

He posted a link to a story about Appleton Central Alternative, where staffers say the negative behavior exhibited by students changed for the better when the school’s menu options changed. Vending machines were replaced by water coolers, and salads and fruits took the place of hamburgers and fries in the cafeteria. So, healthy food equals fewer bullies, according to the folks at Appleton.

As always, thanks for reading and keep the comments coming.

Reader reaction is an important part of building StateImpact Florida’s education coverage. Feedback Loop will be a regular feature highlighting your questions, criticisms and comments.


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