It appears that California has been busy lately. When I speak of busy, I speak of different schools getting busy on combating this problem of Peer Abuse and bullying. I have been wondering when this would finally happen. It puts a smile on my face to see these actions taken.
On November 14 in Bakersfield, a Solutions to Bullying Workshop will be conducted. Another national expert, Wayne Sakamoto, will be speaking about developing a task force, female bullying, assessment, documentation, cyber bullying, developing policies and protocols, prevention and intervention approaches and strategies for working with parents and others in the school environment. This is geared towards educators and law enforcement. In Thousand Oaks the Conejo Valley School District officials will be meeting with local law enforcement to come up with Threat Assessment Plan to combat bullying. This includes reaching into cyber space on places like My Space and other social networks. Also, knowing what to look for on campus when students are coming into contact with one another. In Palo Alto, Duveneck Elementary School has new playground equipment from Peaceful Playgrounds which makes rules clear to minimize conflicts plus they have a book entitled How to be a good friend. At JLS Middle School,. A lunch and a play will be held to combat bullying. Reading this information is encouraging and am glad to see the cracking down occurring with these schools.
One element is missing. This is the fact that bullying is a form of abuse; Peer Abuse. I know young children will have a hard time understanding this concept but from middle school and up, it should not be a problem. These school officials and other adults in the community especially need to be aware of this. I say that because they are the ones who are going to be trying to combat this problem. In order to do so, I feel they need to be well versed on this problem.
I commend these schools for getting serious about this. Too many children in this nation are suffering from clinical problems and some are even committing bullycide. The children who are bullies also have their demons to fight. We need to take this to a whole other level and make sure that everyone knows the dark realities of what is being dealt with here. In the meantime, kudos to California for taking these baby steps in education.
Elizabeth Bennett is the author of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From A Psychological Perspective and resides in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit http://www.peerabuse.info .
By Elizabeth Bennett M.Ed
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