The key for the protection of both the victim and the school is that the school takes affirmative action whenever there is an observation or report of bullying.
Lambertville, NJ (PRWEB) April 19, 2007
Dr. Edward F. Dragan education expert and founder of Education Management Consulting, LLC recognizes the importance of cooperative efforts to prevent school bullying.
"All children are entitled to courteous and respectful treatment by students and staff at school. Educators have a duty to ensure that students have a safe learning environment," says education expert and school liability consultant Dr. Dragan.
In American schools, more than 16 percent of students say that they have been bullied by other students during the 2000-2001 school year, according to a survey funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The study appears in the April 25, 2001 Journal of the American Medical Association.
In the U.S. many states are finally recognizing the urgent need to take a firm stand against bullying. In February 2007, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled students have the right to attend school without being subjected to repeated taunts from other children. The ruling makes school districts in that state responsible for stopping bias-based harassment. A school district may be found liable if it knew about a "hostile educational environment" and failed to take reasonable action to end it.
Eighteen additional states, Guam, and Puerto Rico have passed anti-bullying laws and require public schools to have an anti-bullying policy in place. These laws generally define harassment and bullying as any conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment. The list includes age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status.
According to Dr. Dragan, "The key for the protection of both the victim and the school is that the school takes affirmative action whenever there is an observation or report of bullying."
"Schools must have clear policies and procedures and train students and staff in the detection, reporting, and prevention of bullying. No amount of laws will stop the practice of bullying. Effectiveness is achieved when students, parents, teachers, and administrators join together to confront bullying and harassment. Each must take responsibility to take part to protect students and to make schools safe."
Edward F. Dragan, Ed.D. is the founder of Education Management Consulting, LLC, providing consultation and education expert witness services to school administrators and attorneys on education-related issues including school management, safety, bullying, education law suits, and school risk assessments. His book, Keeping Kids Safe in School: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know, is scheduled for publication in 2007.
Edward F. Dragan, Ed.D.
Education Management Consulting, LLC