Many of us know that we have a ‘no tolerance’ for fighting, but for some of you, a ‘no tolerance’ against bullying might come as a surprise.
‘No Tolerance’ does not mean that the people involved automatically get expelled, it depends on the situation. “We have to take everything into consideration when determining a fair consequence,” Bryan Girbach, superintendent Milan High Area Schools said.
In high school, teenagers go through a lot of different types of bullying; we all have experienced some manner of bullying. High school is about finding yourself and who you’re going to be, and there are those who feel threatened by others if they think they are, in some way, better than themselves. When that happens, they may try to do everything humanly possible to make your life miserable, so they can feel better. True, this isn’t the only reason that some teens make other teens lives miserable, there are many other reasons. “Their (bullies) goal is to try to intimidate without other people knowing about it,” Girbach stated. Most bullying isn’t witnessed by staff or reported by students. “Students need to become more aware and educated about bullying is,” Girbach stated. “The district will be revising its bullying policy in order to guarantee that it meets the newly written state laws.”
So what types of consequences are taken when bullying is reported?
“We try to be fair, firm, and consistent,” Ryan McMahon, principal of Milan said. Depending on the situation at hand, the consequence could vary. “We look at each situation individually. We consider whether there truly was intimidation by the bully, whether there was physical contact. We investigate the whole situation before the consequence is issued,” Girbach said.
I used to think fighting was a bigger problem than bullying, but it truly all depends on the specific situation. With a huge range of technology and multiple accesses to it at school and at home, students can bully quicker and easier. “If the cyber bully is committed using our equipment, if they mention bullying in school, or if the bullying is carried out at school, we address the problem. If it is outside of school we inform the parents to go to the police,” Girbach addressed. “Most importantly we can’t solve a problem if we don’t know about.”
“Students and adults should feel safe and comfortable entering our school and that is our number one goal. Both fighting and bullying are simply not acceptable and infractions of these sorts will be dealt with severely,” McMahon stated.
With the suicides that this community dealt with this last year, bullying consequences have not taken a back seat. What we need to do as a community, what I’m asking you to do, is that we need to get the word out more. Bullying has been going on far too long, and to solve a problem, you need to know the problem first.