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Friday, September 30, 2011

His Nakedness, I promise, will be oh so handsome--stunningly so--fully attired!

Let’s take a look at our emperor’s sartorial trickery.  He covers his butt in “policy”--zero tolerance kinds of stuff.   “Thou shalts and thou shalt nots” rain down upon those of us working in his empire of education. 

“Under no circumstances will bullying be tolerated“ he declares. Yet the emperor himself barks and brays. 

“We have the responsibility to keep all children safe from bullying,” our emperor intones. Yet he focuses purely on state standardized testing at the expense of all else.

“We will prevent bullying and keep children safe” our emperor proclaims. Yet even as he imposes another even more strident anti-bullying policy (yeah!), he doesn’t tell us how the heck we’ll do it, just that we must. He doesn’t give us training or tools, just rules. 

And we all pretend.  We all are guilty of pretending--or at least of turning the blind eye.  And if we ourselves are not naked yet--man oh man--unless we get embarrassed now by our bloated bodies--we will be. 

 Look no farther than the state of New Jersey.  It has the toughest (we’ll show ‘em who’s boss!) policy in the nation!  Counselors are now anti-bullying specialists!  They will investigate every bullying report!  They will report to the police!  Hey--so you will know-- they most likely are also in the classroom “co-teaching” to meet class size regulations…and they are “leveling” classes….and they are organizing “Red Ribbon” and “AIDS awareness” week…and putting together career and magnet school fairs…. and assuring kids have all credits for progression to the next grade level.  I’m just trying to put at least a few baubles on the emperor. 

The b
ottom line is this: more pressure. The bottom line is this too: no help, no recognition that the issue of bullying prevention is huge.  That this requires resources. That it’s worth more than more zero tolerance policies.  That policy, butt covering really, simply is not enough. 

Get the prevention programs and training in place. Make the commitment.  Get dressed.

Policy.  I am tired of policy.  I want action.  I am tired of documentation.  I want prevention.  I am tired of butt covering.  I want truth.  And here it is.  We have great tools.  We have great people.  We need great leadership to allow us to implement those things that we say we are doing.  Just that.  Let’s just do what we say we are doing.  We’re out there sermonizing on the evils of bullying.  We’re smugly lauding our prevention efforts.  And all we need to truly put some clothes on our emperor is leadership.  

 So leaders, take a look in your closet.   You got some cool stuff in there.  (and while you’re at it--maybe a little exercise would be in order…..)  

Next: I've decided to begin to tell my story.  Have a great week.  Stay courageous.  Be truthful.

8:09 pm edt          Comments

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Click here for my district's bullying and harassment policy. You will see I have made comments....