Friday, November 03, 2006

Dealing with the bad guys

Texas House Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, of the 42nd District, has a good idea in dealing with bullies, which he hopes will go through Austin's lawmakers for a governor's signature and become law.

It used to be, we had to learn the hard way as kids to find the courage to stand up to bullies, organize coalitions to impress upon the bully that we've had enough and we're not going to take it any more, or just jump the idiot from all sides if all else fails. But lessons learned in school shootings across this country and a few others say not all children and teens can do what is necessary to halt the bullying. Some can't take it, something snaps and they bring a gun to school and people start getting killed.

Raymond's intended legislation seeks to give the schools the power to act in these situations and move the bully toward a safer disposition.


State Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, wants to see schools have the tools to push bullies off the property.
Raymond says he will introduce legislation in the coming session, which would hand decisions on consistently troublesome, problem bullies to justices of the peace. The JPs would then determine if the student in question should be sent to detention facilities.
Raymond doesn’t believe children victimized by bullies should have to form coalitions of friends to confront the bully, or test their fortitude by standing up to them eye-to-eye by themselves.
“Parents can move a child out if they are being harassed, but they should move out the bully,” he said.
Raymond noted the bullying element in numerous school violence cases across the country, which includes Columbine and other school shootings.
Raymond and JPs attending his news conference on the issue discussed statewide school rules, which punish both students in a fight. It takes one to start a fight, but two to have one. The proposed law seeks to separate the fight starter from the answerer.
“We have parents who say my child is afraid to go to school in the morning,” Raymond said. “We have a priority for safe schools.”
“If they break the law and are in court and charged accordingly, it will mean a lot,” parent Rene Cervantes said, attending the news conference.
Precinct 4 JP Oscar Martinez says are harassed to the point where anyone would be forced to fight, but bullies are sometimes gang members and need to be made to understand that there is help for them, too. Martinez sees this potential law putting the bully in conversation with JPs who could help steer the aggressive child, or teen, away from trouble.


At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Melissa Merrill said...

I think this is a GREAT idea. I have been saying all along that the schools are not tough enough on these bullies. I agree hole heartedly.

Missy Merrill

At 5:03 AM, Blogger bullylaw said...

Dear Mike,
This is a great idea, and the first time I have seen some recognition of the fact that not all students are able to deal with violence of a bigger kid or larger group. This legislation would help our diverse student body feel more safe--and that it critical. The one problem that we are working on nationally, is that school often doo not identify the bully stating that student witnesses are not sufficient to take action against another student. So if a school staff member is not behind the report of bullying, little gets done to protect students.
If I can be of support in any way, please contact me. Catherine A. Hogan, MSW, LCSW, National Bullying Consultant, Former President of the CT Asso of School Social Workers, Clinical Instructor Yale Child Study Center.


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