It is our position that the new anti-bullying law is a positive move. According to the National Education Association, around 160,000 children miss school each day because they are scared of bullying. A recent study on teenage girls in Indiana found that more Hoosier girls are troubled by depression, falling grades and concerns about their weight than the national average. Perhaps it’s related to girls being more prone to social/relational bullying.
The prevalent use of social media among teens is compounded by an ever-growing cavalcade of new social networking applications making it easier to target and become a target, while making it harder for parents to monitor cyber-bullying behavior. Logic dictates hesitancy in giving teenagers the equivalent of their own unfiltered television station with broadcast rights to the world, however, pop culture dictates the opposite.
The new law gives authority to the schools for monitoring suspected bullying behavior. The mandate that school staff, administrators, teachers, volunteers, parents, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and students be educated on the definition, signs and interventions for bullying is good and long overdue. If civility is not ingrained in our youth, what hope do we have for the future and the legacy of those victims of bullying who took their own lives way too soon.