Bullying is unfortunately a prominent subject in today's world. Between 1 and 4 and 1 and 3 U.S. students have been bullied in school and with today's technology bullying has a taken a new form in cyber attacks. Bullying affects everyone in a negative way and schools need to be proactive in preventing and punishing these acts.
The first step is prevention. Do we provide enough education about bullying and what to do to stop it in our schools? Teaching students about how bullying affects mental health, how to step up and say something isn't okay, and how to intervene in a situation and tell someone of authority are the first steps to preventing bullying in schools.
Now, say even with education programs bullying still occurs. Schools have so-called 'no-tolerance' policies in place to handle bullying situations; however, these policies are not as clear and concise as they should be.
If one student is bullied by another student, the offending student should be punished and the punishment should be consistent across racial, gender, and age lines. No-tolerance means that an offense has a consequence, not that it will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and the consequence will be different every time.
While the school is responsible for attacks that happen on school property, who is responsible for those attacks that happen online? I say the parents because they are ultimately the ones teaching their children what values to hold and how to treat other people. Online etiquette should be taught way before a child is allowed to interact with others in the cyber world and the principle of treating others how you want to be treated should apply to the internet as well as the outside world.
None of these are perfect solutions to ridding the world of bullying, but they are ways to begin to fight it. No one deserves to be treated unfair and unjust because they are different in the eyes of their peers and ending bullying starts in the schools and in the home.