Traverse City Record-Eagle


December 5, 2012

Letters to the Editor: 12/05/2012


School has obligation

The Benzie School Board's response to the mother who reported her daughter had been bullied was unsatisfactory. A parent doesn't want to hear, "We followed policy." We want to know the school takes seriously its obligation to provide a safe environment for each student.

Bullying is almost by definition a violation of the safety and security schools say, and parents hope, each child is entitled to. "Policy" is something bureaucrats hide behind. This policy is not to make the school safer or reduce bullying, it's to provide shelter and safety for administrators. Policy is not as good as officials say it is.

The American Psychological Association reports that 40 to 80 percent of school children are bullied over their educational career. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reports 5 to 15 percent of children are bullied continually. Schools report about 1 percent to the state.

If you believe these statistics, schools miss the vast majority. It could be that the APA and the NICHD data are wrong and the schools are right. We don't know because schools don't check to see if their policy is deficient. They benchmark themselves to each other and declare every policy successful.

Bradley Evans

Traverse City

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