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Sharon Fitzpatrick

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Schools are terrible places for children.

In the name of civilization we lock up our children for seven to twelve hours each weekday..subjecting them to experiences that mark them for the rest of their lives...the least we could do is give them a fair chance and give them school when they have a choice, in college, where they can defend themselves.

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  • Mar 20 2013: To be honest I really don't understand that last sentence. I'm not sure if you accidentally skipped a word or what, but anyway...
    I do agree that schools foster more abuse and trauma than learning or "social development." Regardless of the anti-bullying hype, the truth is that most schools don't do anything until a kid commits suicide. Then they mourn for a few weeks and act like things are going to change, but never actually take action to ensure that it does. I find this sickening to even admit, but the truth is, anti-bullying is a fad. We're all lifesaving heroes who are going to make a difference in the world for a few weeks after something horrible happens, but once the media finds a new story, nobody cares anymore.

    The most they'll do is run a nice little seminar or two. An inspirational speaker will visit the school and talk to the student body about the importance of loving each other, and as pretty as their words are, they don't do jack. I've sat through many such school assemblies and you know how much change I saw in my school? None. The only people who actually took something from the speech were those who weren't bullies anyway.

    Kids don't respond to kindness or flowery inspirational speeches, they respond to fear and to punishment. My school claimed to have a zero-tolerance bullying policy and I only wish they had actually stood behind it. Bullying should be punishable by expulsion. No lectures, no assemblies, no "kids will be kids", one strike and you are out. Maybe that will teach children to respect other human beings instead of putting them through so much emotional torture that they either commit suicide or go through the rest of their life bearing the mental and maybe even physical scars of the abuse.

    It's not a small matter, and it isn't a joke. So why do we treat it as something that can be fixed with a slap on the wrist?

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