.by Anura Guruge
Devanee our daughter was subject to considerable bullying at ACS.
In 2011 it got so bad that I requested a formal investigation per HB 1523.
It ended up with an ‘independent’ evaluator from Gilford mediating. Then a year later Devanee, accidentally or otherwise, got slapped in the face in the school bus coming home. That is when we decided to homeschool her.
Deanna and I both experienced bullying when young. We are determined that other kids should not go through this same experience.
Yesterday morning I got an e-mail, with an attached letter, from another ACS parent. It was about bullying and had been written by her daughter, 8th Grade Student Council President, to the ACS School Board.
I know the daughter, and for that matter the whole family. Both her brothers were on my 2011 – 2012 Destination Imagination (DI) team, and the mother (who sent me the e-mail) was my Assistant Coach. The author of the letter often attended our DI sessions. Since then I have got to know the whole family. These kids, by any measure, are exceptional. Yes, they did go to private school before coming to ACS. But that is neither here nor there. All I know is that I have great faith in these kids and their parents.
Since the letter has been sent to the School Board I am going to bide my time and in general bite my tongue (though I have made a call to a ‘anti-bullying’ campaigner to give him a ‘heads up’).
There is one KEY thing in this letter that bothers me, and it bothers me so much that I have to address it.
This young lady is NOT trying to cause trouble or get anybody into trouble. To the contrary. She does not want to name names.
She wants to try and SOLVE the problem through student awareness, participation and goodwill.
To me that sounds beyond wonderful. BRAVO.
So, what is she asking?
She would like the school to have Group Seminars and Discussions where the students can discuss bullying.
That is IT. Ok, I could, as ever, be wrong. But, this seems like a great idea to me.
And then comes the bit that has me confounded, and I am going to show an extract of the letter to avoid any misunderstanding:
Mr. Lander can WE see these studies that YOU quote?
This is what confuses me. I have done some reading on anti-bullying programs. Everything that I have read indicates that group initiatives, students working with their peers, is the best way to stamp out bullying.
You can do your own Googling.