Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Petition | Create a law that protects children from bullying by teachers |

Petition | Create a law that protects children from bullying by teachers |

It is essential that all children are safe from every kind of bullying and school remains a place to learn and not a place to fear.

Did you know that the Kansas now has an Anti-Bullying Law that not only protects students from bullying by students, but also by teachers and other school staff?

We need a similar law in Missouri.  The children of Missouri need the same protection as children in other states.  Children’s lives are being destroyed every day.  We cannot keep them safe without legislation.  That has proven to be the case over and over again.

Teacher bullying gets little attention, say Stuart Twemlow, MD, a psychiatrist who directs the Peaceful Schools and Communities Project at the Menninger Clinic in Houston. But his new study, published in The International Journal of Social Psychiatry, hints that the problem may be more common than people believe.

In his anonymous survey of 116 teachers at seven elementary schools, more than 70% said they believed that bullying was isolated. But 45% admitted to having bullied a student. "I was surprised at how many teachers were willing to be honest," Twemlow says.

He defines teacher bullying as "using power to punish, manipulate, or disparage a student beyond what would be a reasonable disciplinary procedure."

While it is well-known that bullying by peers is commonplace, bullying by teachers can be even more harmful to children and represents an abuse of power. Studies show that bullying perpetrated by an adult, such as a teacher, can be even more harmful than bullying by a peer, quadrupling the child’s odds of suicidal thinking.

The bullying by a teacher effectively produces a hostile climate for the student that is indefensible on academic grounds; undermining learning and the ability of a student to fulfll academic requirements. It shares at its core the same attributes of other abuses of power such as sexual harassment or hate crimes. A hate crime is simply bullying by target selection based on characteristics of race, sexual orientation or religious beliefs

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