Heisenberg wrote:I don't think the school is impotent in the bullying arena. Right now the School Counseling world is aflutter with different anti-bullying strategies and programs. And while we can't implement a fool-proof strategy, there are many steps the school and its counselors and psychologists can take to reduce bullying and identify and respond to occurrences.
As far as this specific case, Arsenal Tech has around 2000 students, which I don't consider that huge, and is in multiple buildings because it's an old arsenal. Honestly, the larger the school is, the more resources they should be able to devote to anti-bullying campaigns.
Fair enough, I'm not a school administrator so I am not familiar with the anti-bullying strategies that are being used (or being thought up). That said, everyone here is saying how the school is the one that actually failed because this happened. Is there any actual evidence the school didn't implement these policies? Or that they weren't doing anything? From the articles I've seen the administrators are saying they have tried investigating but in circumstances where the victim and witnesses can't/won't identify the students, I don't know what they're supposed to be doing. Now I'll grant its possible the admins are just lying but without evidence of that, it doesn't seem like a reasonable position to take.
Bullying is part of a culture of a school. The school can either accept it or actually try and change the culture, now its not going to be an easy thing to do. But certainly the school could go on a serious anti-bullying campaign, announcements in assembly (if they do that) , have the teachers talk to their classes and perhaps not only punish those identified in bullying but actually talk to them because they are the ones that really need to talk to a school counselor.
How a school should go about changing the bullying culture is going to be school specific, its up to the school to rise to the challenge. Now if there was a host of things that they tried, and still failed, that at least could be understood, but when asked what the school did, the answer we are getting, from the article is essentially, fuck all. Perhaps the article didn't represent the schools efforts, perhaps, but thats what we are going on. Considering that the school did effectively nothing, is why the blame is being placed solely on the school administration.
Also, I cannot believe that the student doesn't know who is bullying him, perhaps if they were all in a mob, he might not be able to identify all of them but he knows. And maybe he is too scared to tell, for fear of being a "tattle-tale" but then again, talk to him.
Address those fears, et cetera. And perhaps the school is actually even partially implicit in the bullying.
From personal experience. The school I was at had a big culture of, initiation
, which is effectively a traditional construct for bullying, of the seniors onto the juniors. And there was a strong tradition that after the house dinner, (essentially the whole house gathered and ate food and socialized and stuff) , that the seniors would throw the juniors into the pool, not particularly extreme but that's not the point. Everyone knew what was supposed to happen.
But our housemaster put an end to it, right there and then, with a very stern announcement about consequences afterwards, I guess he must have been new and didn't approve of this tradition. Things can change and not trying to change things can be condemnable.