Don't Bully Me!

Phoenix Coverley

Recently I met a parent who cited bullying as one of the main reasons she had decided, now that her children were approaching school age, that she was going to home school them. “Why would I want to expose my children to that kind of environment? I hated school. I was teased and bullied and the schools today have larger class sizes where the teacher can barely manage to teach students, let alone monitor behavior.” She said. Having been a public school teacher, I can’t argue with part of her argument, class sizes are larger. But I do believe that most teachers are paying attention and do their best to keep the classroom safe. In reality, most bullying happens in the unsupervised moments; the locker room, at recess, on the jungle gym, during those moments of the day, which are not closely monitored because kids should be free to play, right?

At the same time I wonder where her protection will end? There is a part of me that questions the efficacy of her solution to this problem. Sure, if she home schools, she can control her children’s environment and be there to intervene should a mean child cross their paths. But in reality, the world is not full of Mr. Nice Guys. If you can’t learn to stick up for yourself as a youngster, when will it happen? Will she follow her kids to work and tell the boss off for them when he’s having a bad day?

More importantly, should today's mom and dads feel so scared that they believe this type of protection is necessary?

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