In NJ there has been an incident of hazing that has rocked the community. There are still some on both sides of the story, some accepting it as a part of ‘team’, and some still afraid to speak out openly. Here is our take on this situation.
Hazing is bullying. Bullying is abuse and while it is good to hear that it is being recognized as such, the idea that the students in this latest incident “tolerated and in general accepted” this culture and behaviors – it tells us that is was also tolerated and accepted by the adults in the school.
At this point those who have been targeted with the hazing are still afraid to voice their grievances out loud. On Sunday night this particular community is gathering for an anti-bullying community event to raise awareness in the community and “to help in the healing process”. Here is my take on this:
We are already aware.
We are aware that bullying in not acceptable. No one thinks it is an acceptable behavior, especially when it is happening to them or to their child. Generally very few people have stepped up to change anything until there is a major incident like this one that has affected them personally.
We are aware.
There are enough posters.
There are enough sayings.
There are enough laws and rules.
What we have not done is change culture. Until we change the culture in our schools, with everyone – parents, administrators, teachers, students – we will continue to have these kind of incidents. All of us determined to create a culture of peace in our schools and communities can be very powerful
The school year has open and is well underway. It is time for all of us to show our support for teachers in our community, as they are one of our most valuable resources. Grants4Teachers is now accepting grant applications from AACPS teachers for those special projects in their classroom that will not be funded by others.
We are looking for creative ideas that teachers would like to implement to bring the love and joy of learning to their students. If you are a teacher please think about what you could do special with your students if you only had the money for the supplies. If you are a parent, be sure to share this opportunity with your school and all the teachers. We have supplied violins, trips, and some very special art project materials in the past and we are looking forward to doing the same this fall.
Here is the website for complete information: http://www.cfaac.org/receive/grants4teachers
Here is the simple one page application: Grants 4 Teachers – Grant
Here we are at the beginning of the new year and like many individuals we shall reflect on the year and what sort of goals we would like to reach this year. For many it will be dealing with health, family, vacations, or business. I have talked before about one of my own goals in the community and that is, dealing with the subject of bullying for students in school.
Our word of the month in January is VISION and having a vision of what you want to accomplish and what it will look like when it is done is a major step in reaching your goal. So what does this vision look like?
I see students learning specifically what is a bully, how to use their words to deflect bullying, and I see students teaching younger students about the same. I also see our website as a wealth of information for teachers and parents and what they can do to intervene when these situations come up. I will be sharing resources that will educate and encourage all of us to meet this head on.
Can you picture in your mind our students having the courage to stand up to those that would pick on others or those that exclude others. It is a mindset that we can set the example for and help our students see the value in practicing. Our students can be heroes in their own school by stepping up to this challenge.
Our success in this goal, in our vision, is tied to our community working together. We know WHY we want to do this, it is for the safe education of our children and now we must work on the HOW by developing specific actions and deadlines. If you are interested in helping with defining this in our community please feel free to talk to me about this goal. If your child has ever been bullied you understand the importance of this goal.