We need anti-bullying curricula?

Bully Prevention Crap:

The Education Week email said:

Advocacy groups have designated October as National Bullying Prevention Month, and education organizations from across the country are getting involved by disseminating information and promoting anti-bullying curricula.

I wrote about this before, but it is National Bullying Prevention Month, so I will write about it again.

In addition to playground, cafeteria, hallway, classroom, and bus ride bullying, we now have cyber-bullying — situations in which adults are often not present.   So, we need new anti-bullying curricula — right?

Cut the Crap:

Maybe not.  Maybe the heart of every school curriculum should be (and should always have been) that everybody treats everybody with respect.  I am sure it will take a few years for this “respect curriculum” to prevent bullying,  but how much progress will we make by attaching bully prevention to the side of the curriculum every October, or by teaching about a different character trait each month?

What do we teach young people about bullying in the course of everyday school activities?  Do we teach that bullying reflects on the bully, not the bullied?  If that teaching were at the heart of the curriculum, what is the likelihood that students would want to bully?

Do we teach middle and high schoolers that their desire to bully comes from their vicious, uneducated nature?  Do we challenge them to grow up, to become educated?  Do we teach what this means by providing adult role models?  Do we remind them that they are role models for elementary schoolers?

Teachers and principals who need anti-bullying curricula are ignorant and unimaginative.  They are of no value in schools, so how did they become public school educators?

Oh, yes — I forgot.  Public schools define “educated” as having knowledge and skills.  Virtues are not part of their definition, even though knowledge and skills cannot be developed without virtue.  That is why developing “educated” human beings (instead of just knowledgeable and skillful ones) is attached to the side of the public school curriculum.  How is that working for everyone?




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