Mamacita says: So many of the teachers I’ve spoken to lately are frustrated almost beyond words by their schools’ insistence that they keep disruptive, non-participatory, and often violent students and bullies in their classrooms, to the severe detriment of the other children.
All students have a right to be educated in their least restrictive environment. How can this be possible if there are students in the classroom whose sole purpose in life seems to be to prevent other students from possibly learning something? Bullies should never have more rights than their victims. Bullies don’t deserve as many rights.
When a child goes home at the end of almost every day scratched, bruised, pinched, frustrated, and crying because once again “that same kid” tormented him/her, swiped the pencils, broke the scissors, yelled out, distracted, pulled the hair, marked on the paper, constantly poked, stole the lunch, chased, teased, and in any other way prevented a child from having a relaxed-yet-exciting, unimpeded, nurturing, SAFE environment in which he/she might learn and excel and advance upward and onward and feel absolutely safe and nothing is ever done to the perpetrator, who is allowed to pretty much rule the school with such behaviors, I call it bullying and I refuse to accept any other label for it. Why do we continue to allow bullies to exist in our classrooms? It makes no sense. Bullies exist because they’re allowed to exist. Stop allowing it and the behavior will stop, at least in the classroom.
Administrators who require teachers to put up with these behaviors and give teachers no support when these kids become insistently uncooperative (that’s a euphemism, by the way), teachers who fail to protect their students from these behaviors, parents who expect the school to deal with their child’s behaviors in such a way that their child is never responsible, and the child himself/herself who continues to torture other children or in any way put up an obstacle to their success. . . these are all bullies, too. And our good, polite, hard-working, creative kids who WANT to learn and advance have to sit there and wait, and be pinched and robbed and interrupted and teased, etc., and wait some more, most often never getting to advance because they’re still waiting on the other kids, whose behaviors and needs are seen as more important. . . .
Bullying isn’t only on the playground or the internet. Any time Susie can’t learn, advance, concentrate, or sit in peace and be allowed to work because of Billy’s behavior, Billy is a bully and Susie is a victim and the adult in the room is the enabler and the administration is Dolores Umbridge. Why, then, is Billy soothed, placated, rewarded, and continued to be allowed to sit near Susie and torment her? And why is nobody outraged that Susie is being held back, harassed, bothered, and hindered from learning?
I’m outraged. You should be, too.
But nobody does anything about it because Billy is apparently more important than Susie.
And Dolores Umbridge doesn’t WANT our children to learn, advance, and soar because that makes them more difficult to bully, herself.
When are we going to grow a pair and demand that our schools become once again what they were intended to be: places where those who wish to learn might learn? At the rate we’re going these days, the answer is “never.”
Shame on us. Shame on anyone and everyone responsible.