Woodland Middle School – Not getting any better

Carol Williams from WCPO revisits the bullying problem at Woodland Middle School to see what is being done about the problem.

Leave your comments on WCPO.com. I left mine:

“Pieces of bullying”… what does that mean?

I wrote my reaction to Sam’s story in my blog back in October (http://kev2.me/c5). Until everyone involved, from administrators to parents, faces bullying problems head-on, they will be allowed to continue.

Administrators and teachers have a responsibility to foster a culture where students don’t allow bullying in their school. The message needs to be sent to bullies from everyone involved: “we don’t tolerate bullying”.

Anyone that knows bullying is happening and does nothing about it is worse than the bully – they are a coward. I would never send a child to Woodland. It’s clear they are in complete denial that bullying occurs. They didn’t know… really? If they were making connections with students and actually interacting with them, showing them they care about what happens to them, they would be in a position to do something meaningful, and maybe even save a kid’s life.

When you have a student that finds suicide as the only alternative, you have on hell of a situation on your hands that can’t be denied. Everyone involved has failed. FAILED. Yes, the culture and morale at Woodland has to be horrible if the girls in this story couldn’t come forward. I can’t even imagine how they feel, losing their friend on top of having to face a school day in that environment.

These girls, along with Sam’s parents by deciding to share his story, are the only ones from Woodland doing anything meaningful about the problem. I hope WCPO will continue to follow-up on Woodland. People need to know there’s some kind of hope things will improve. The bright light of public scrutiny needs to shine on Woodland. Maybe they can be shamed into doing the right thing.

If I were the superintendent, I would be in that school every day making sure the culture was changing to one of zero tolerance for bullying. And any teacher that says “bullying happens everywhere” would be getting a box and their final paycheck.

“Pieces of bullying”… come out of your office, lead by example and do something about the problem instead of worrying about the school system’s “image”. All schools, public and private, have to stop running things like a business and a manufacturing line and start carrying about what is most important – the students.

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