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Parent/Grandparent Volunteer Core

Similar to SCORE, I propose a volunteer based staff to man school buses and schools in the hopes of preventing bullying. School are so closed off to new ideas, but say they want to do whatever they can to put an end to bullying. These volunteers would of course have to pass background checks, similar to any other school employee, and can even be self-monitoring. I believe that having an adult around where there aren't any would greatly reduce bullyng!

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    Jan 31 2014: Kate, Schools are scared to death of law suits. Say you put me on bus #25 ... four teens start beating one teen ... I leave my seat to stop the fight ... I push one boy off ... and then another ... the third one hits his head on a seat brace and is injured ... I stop the last boy ... sit next to the victim and think I did well ... what the school authorized me to do ... wrong. The court will find that an adult use physical strength on a juvenile and harmed him finding against the school, me, and probably the driver. I will be charged with four counts of assault.

    That is why police roam the halls and not teachers and administrators.

    I have had kids dare me to make them leave .... we notify the office and they sometimes respond but more often call the police not wanting to get involved.

    I have worked in law enforcement and believe me the criminal has many rights and that is why everything is recorded ... for protection.

    Additionally almost everyone has a cell phone and a camera in it. In a fight you do what is necessary ... some times cuss ... often lose some amount of control ... even if the bully was clearly in the wrong ... your actions will outweigh his offense in court.

    Schools know who the bullies are ... they may even have camera footage ... no company or district will go to court for anything less that $50,000 ... it is much easier to settle or look the other way. After advice from counsel they may give detention or suspension ... the kid does not want to be there anyway so he wins ... again.

    In the past schools, police, courts, and parents could control things like bullying .... now it is all about lawyers and law suits. To bad.
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    Feb 2 2014: Many schools have a policy that during passing periods teachers are out in the hall and administrators walk through the hall, specifically to be the eyes that deter incidents.

    Grade schools very often do have parent volunteers around the school and playground to extend supervision. This practice is less common at the secondary level for a variety of reasons, including schools' trying to limit the number of unauthorized adults on campus, kids often preferring not to have their parents hanging around, and volunteers not being as eager to find themselves in the midst of escalating encounters between or among full-sized young people.

    I am sure there are legal issues as well, including some that Bob mentions below. About a decade ago I taught a class in which kids had a tendency to be unruly. I had a couple of volunteer parents in the classroom during the week and one told a student to "shut up." The student threatened that her parent was going to take action.

    Teachers and administrators do not need this additional sort of concern.
  • Jan 29 2014: I've had a similar discussion with my parents who are also grandparents. I think many people are afraid to volunteer to help in this situation because they don't want to be blamed if anything goes wrong. People are afraid that their retirement will be fraught with disaster if they try to do the right thing for society.

    I think it's a wonderful idea to get people involved, but they need protection and they need training. I'm not sure the schools or the town authorities are willing to give that.