June 28, 2006

ID: bullies

A long article in this week's Boise Weekly expands on the "calloused" treatment of Fabian Alvarez, an Eastern Idaho 7-year-old who was locked up in detention for four days this past April:

Let the Punishment Fit the Policy - Idaho's school disciplinarians struggle to find the line between reprimanding and understanding

Alvarez's case may seem like an isolated incident, and many public school officials agree that it is rare that law enforcement is called in for discipline in the schools. But some people are saying that this case and others like it are symptoms of a school system that is increasingly prioritizing policy and rules--sometimes beyond what seems reasonable and without considering the underlying reasons for a student's misbehavior...

The effects of policy taken too far can be lasting, says the attorney representing jailed 7-year-old Fabian Alvarez. "I have interacted with Fabian since he was placed in detention and remain convinced that the experience of being taken away from his mother, processed into detention, and held for three days has lasting consequences on his mental and emotional state," writes Mark Echohawk in an e-mail...

The online story includes links to Bully Police (which is about policing bullies and not bullying by the police) and Jared's Story, the 13-year-old whose suicide after repeated bullying led to the passage in several states of "Jared's Law", which in part allows for bullies to be punished by the juvenile justice system.

Here's a reminder that bullying comes in more than one guise - Teachers who bully students