I heard an interesting snippet of conversation on the Benjamin Dover show today regarding a bill before the Texas House that would allow students who are victims of bullying to transfer to another classroom or even another school in the same district. (The bill they were obviously talking about is House Bill 283, whose text may be found here.)
Most of the callers pointed out the same thing: This bill would not really solve the problem; if anything, it would just empower the bully even more by having all of his/her victims (and yes, as some callers pointed out, there are female bullies) moved elsewhere. The general consensus was that this bill just skirts the true issue of dealing with the bully, with many people pointing out that the teachers can't do corporal punishment anymore, and now even the victims can't hit back, thanks to zero-tolerance policies in many districts that punish all participants in schoolyard fights (but that's another post for another day). Oh, and speaking of things that can't be done anymore, Dover related a great story about how he and some buddies ambushed a notorious bully on his paper route; they were pretty much left alone after that.
Granted, I never get a big chunk of time to listen to radio talk shows--it's pretty much limited to the ten minutes between schools--so I don't know if the Dover listeners ever discovered what I did in doing my research for this post: there's also a House Bill 243 (text here), which provides for the transferral to an alternative education program of anyone caught bullying on school grounds. These two bills in tandem make more sense...although one might wonder, if both the bullies and their victims are transferred elsewhere, who's left at the original school--the quiet kids in the back of the room who never say anything?
So let's open this one up to the commenters; here's the Musings Poll of the Day:
1) Were you ever on the receiving end of bullying in school?
2) Were you ever on the giving end?
3) Make yourself a legislator-for-a-day: What solution(s) would you propose to effectively deal with the problem of bullying in schools?
Powerful statements: Lots of interesting comments on the Tower of Power post from people who weren't as impressed as I was; there's also some first-class ranting about the overall quality of live-sound engineers at most big festivals.