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News Link • Education: Government Schools

Bully-Proofing Won't Work Until We Give Kids More Freedom

•, Kerry McDonald

You may talk to your boss or someone in HR to see if the problem could be fixed. If it couldn't, you would quit. You may even file charges if you were physically harmed, or take out a restraining order against your perpetrators. You have recourse. You have options. You have choice.

Not like School Kids

Children who are bullied in school have very few choices and very little recourse. Required by law to attend an assigned public school, many children and their parents have minimal agency to withdraw from a bullying scenario. Some parents will look for alternative schooling options for their bullied children, like private schools, charter schools, online schools, or homeschooling. But for many families, these choices are not available or accessible.

In those cases, bullied children must endure daily battering that would be criminal if inflicted on adults. Is it any wonder that we have a rising suicide rate among children? In fact, according to the CDC, the suicide rate among 10- to 14-year-olds has doubled since 2007.

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