This is a terribly difficult issue for parents and communities to grapple with, and of particular concern to teachers and schools, who are on the front line. Last year, New York adopted a Dignity for All Students Act (PDF) but it does not go into effect until July 2012. The law forbids harassment based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex. But at present, there are no laws on the books. Local authorities are looking at possible charges that could be brought against the bullies. Police said three students in particular might have been involved. The Amherst Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is evaluating the potential charges of harassment, cyber-harassment or hate crimes.
It’s all too easy to throw this problem in the laps of parents, teachers, or a particular community or school. But if the incivility of our public discourse and publiic culture is any measure, bullying has deeper and more insidious roots.
Here are some resources for your employees who might be grappling withchildhood bullying issues.
Bullying Resoutces for Parents and Teachers
What parents need to know about teen suicide
Creating a Climate of Respect