I recently read a news article about a Pennsylvania teenager who was convicted of disorderly conduct after using his iPad to film his tormentors who were bullying him at school. The boy claimed to have been bullied for several months by a certain group of kids. Each time he complained to the school about the many incidents, he felt no one was listening since nothing ever got done. So he took matters into his own hands by creating a 7-minute recording of the bullying events.
But when he showed the school his video, rather than go after the bullies, the school administrators went after him, even going so far as to suggest pursuing a felony wiretapping charge!
While this story may sound unique, it isn’t. Incredibly, I hear stories like this occurring in too many schools across the country. Rather than using professional judgment to assess situations, too many school administrators think only in terms of covering the school and/or themselves. So instead of asking themselves what they must to do protect the students from bullying, they ask, “What does the law say I MUST do in this certain scenario?” They are so focused on enforcing the law that they lose sight of how unfair that decision may be.
I often teach schools how to combat bullying, so for me it is a shame to see such injustices in our nation’s schools.