By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee
“I just want the bullying to stop. That is all I ever wanted. I used to love going to school. Now I hate it.”
(9-year-old Verity Ward quoted in the Sunday Telegraph, 12 March 2000)
Throughout my career as a former principal and teacher I have witnessed bullying take place in and out of school. “Bullying is unfair and one-sided. It happens when someone keeps hurting, frightening, threatening, or leaving someone out on purpose.”
The issue of bullying and its effect on children has finally been recognized. As a principal, year ago, I saw bullying first hand and saw how it affected students. I remember seeing a little girl crying in the corner of the school yard because she was told by one of her classmates that she wasn’t allowed to play with them and other classmates because they didn’t like the way she dressed. Then there was a boy who wasn’t picked to play with the other boys on their football team at recess time because he couldn’t speak English.
The effects of bullying don’t stop there, – bullying can hurt children other than the victims. Studies have shown that children who witness bullying may be afraid to go to school, too. They worry that a minor mistake may make them the bully’s focus. Or they may start bullying others, figuring that siding with the aggressor will keep them safer. Click to continue »