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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Our Schools Must Not Tolerate Bullies  

STOP Bullying

By Herald Staff

Every American child has a right to an education. But what is a public school to do when one child’s presence is making other students too afraid to enter the classroom?
The answer is simple: the school must never forget that the most important thing it can do is maintain an environment conducive to learning. 
This very scenario has been playing out in North Wildwood, at Margaret Mace, a K-8 public school, where a recent protest outside the school was covered in the Herald.
Parents and former students lined the sidewalk outside as students arrived Nov. 30 to send a message to the administration that bullying should be treated more seriously. 

The most important thing a school can do is maintain an environment conducive to learning.

One protesting parent’s child was home that day studying, afraid to show up after a violent threat, while another’s left the school this fall because of a different bullying experience. Both students say they have been terrorized by one student in particular. That student’s bullying has at times risen to the criminal level and local police have been involved.
Despite all that, that troublesome student is still in the school, while his victims are having to compromise their own education, by trying to learn at home or having to go to a different school. 
That is simply not ok. The lack of discipline in American schools, and apparently in particular at Margaret Mace, is leading to a disruption in learning and, for some, a negative association with going to school. It’s also teaching children that anything goes in society and disrespect toward one another is part of life and ok. 
School should be a place every kid likes to be, where they are inspired, nurtured, and educated, but also where they learn the meaning of consequences and are exposed to the idea that actions that impact others negatively will not be tolerated. 
The school discipline pendulum has swung much too far, and administrators are getting way too soft. It is time for school administrators to wake up and realize that order must be maintained. 
In addition to exposing children to learning in all forms, schools are about preparation. Students need to leave school ready to function and set up to thrive in the real world. We can’t keep coddling kids and then expect them to magically come up with the resiliency needed to succeed in life. 
Anyone who thinks fear of punishment is not a deterrent to misbehavior is out of their mind. And until students are held accountable, they will continue to push the limits, wreaking havoc on their classmates and teachers in the process, while setting American education back decades. 

We can’t keep coddling kids and then expect them to magically come up with the resiliency needed to succeed in life.

More appropriate punishment will not only create a peaceful environment for everyone to learn, but it will also present an opportunity for an important lesson to perpetrators. The schools have an opportunity to give unruly students guidance they might not get outside the school, hopefully giving them a chance to get onto a better track. 
Without discipline, the American student will continue to slip. Research shows American students are now in the middle of the pack, and behind many of their counterparts in other advanced industrial nations. Without a good learning environment, how can anyone expect learning to take place? 
There is no excuse for bullying or abuse, in our schools or anywhere else in society. But when we can’t trust the administrators to be the adults in the room anymore, our classrooms turn into a henhouse, where bullies become the proverbial fox. Administrators cannot continue to be the farmer, standing by and watching the carnage, afraid to step in and stand up for his hens. 

From the Bible:  For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done.  — Colossians 3:25

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