Two years ago there was an article posted to the website of American Association of School Administrators discussing teachers roles in school bullying. This article was written well before the devastating streaks of bullying induced suicides that made international news. Written by Patrick Finnessy, the piece defines bullying, harassment and cyberbullying and stresses the escalation in physical violence and the devastating effects on the bullied victim.
Teacher Actions Finnessy states there are school district policies being instituted in various states across the country. However Finnessy writes that school districts are "feebly attempting to adopt those polices into the schools." Those polices are made to prohibit bullying, harassment and cyberbullying. But here is the problem: Many kids don't tell their parents they are being bullied and even if they do it is up to the teachers and administrators to respond. So, states Finnessy, the teachers must respond in "loco parentis" [which means in place of a parent]. Finnessy writes," Few parents would allow their child to be bullied, and educators must address the legal responsibility and take on some of the functions of a parent in regard to physical and emotional safety."
In present time there has been many outside programs addressing bullying. But the question is are educators actually taking steps within the confines of their respective school to educate students to stop bullying. Finnessy states teachers can be instrumental in diminishing bullying if they, the teachers give voice that they are aware of it too.
Too much propaganda has been thrown at students at being a silent bystander however the problem may not be the students but the teachers according to Finnessy. Finessy writes, "Too many teachers remain silent, ignoring signs in hallways, in computer labs and in other school spaces to allow bullying to flourish. What is not taught is as important as what is taught to students. The silence influences, informs and instructs. The silent curriculum becomes as important as the learned curriculum."