Anti-Bullying Legislative Efforts

Well, another day and I stumbled upon an article on anti-bullying efforts in the State of Massachusetts. This is one of the few states left in this nation that does not have a law on the books towards stopping bullying. Why it has taken so long I have no idea. However, the important thing is that progress is being made and there are some who have stepped up and spoken out. One young lady stated that she had to move to another school because she was abused relentlessly by her peers. This affected her friendships and grades in school.

Another young man, a reformed bully, stated that he hurt others by being insensitive and treating others badly. Once the Dean of Students stepped in and had this bully study the effects of this problem and how others suffer as a result, he learned to become compassionate and advocates against any abuse towards his peers. One young man hung himself as a result of this and committed bullycide. He was only 11 years old. Now, there are students and educators stepping on the bandwagon to ensure a law is held in place.

As a society, we tend to overlook abusive behavior that children tend to dole out to one another. Kids are not adults, they have to be taught right from wrong. We cannot expect them to behave as adults and accept responsibility as adults do. This is true; they are not adults and we cannot expect them to have the resources, knowledge or capabilities that adults have. However, children can grasp the concept of right from wrong. Rules exist in every classroom in this nation. They exist in any school or institution that exists. To function in society, we have to have rules established and in place and we are expected to follow them.

A child as young as six years old can grasp this. So, what is taking so long for people to grasp this understanding? Anti-bullying Laws can help children learn to behave as they should and help them to learn right from wrong. It is not hard to teach a child right from wrong. We tell children not to play with matches. Also, that it is dangerous to climb buildings or even on cabinets. So, why should this not be any different? We tell children to tell a grown-up if another grown-up is hurting them. Why is this any different? Why can't we teach them that this is just as painful as adults hurting them? It can be much more painful because as children, especially when they reach middle and high school age, tend to crave acceptance from peers more than adults. Why can't we let children know that they are just as capable of abuse as an adult is?

These laws need to be on every book in every state in this nation. If put in concrete terms, children can grasp what this is and how it is important to follow the law. We need to stop underestimating them and teach them. The excuses are played out and we loose children everyday to this problem. Please, do what you can to help keep the laws in place and to see they are followed. I think at the end of they day, we all want to be safe and to know laws are protecting us. An Anti-bullying Law should be no different.