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TEASING, TAUNTING, RIDICULE
AND BULLYING (TTRB)
the goal of Zero Tolerance of Teasing, Taunting, Ridicule and Bullying
Eliminating Teasing, Taunting, Ridicule and Bullying (TTRB) in a school
system will take much more than the issuing an edict of zero tolerance.
Having such a policy is very important to set the groundwork and tone
on which a consistent and concerted effort to achieve the goal of elimination
TTRB can be built, but it is only a starting point.
Unlike zero tolerance policies for weapons on campuses where it is one
strike and you are out, a zero tolerance policy for TTRB needs to include
graduated punitive responses. The responses would be akin to those for
misbehaving like talking out of turn and without permission or disrupting
a class utilizing the normal progression of sanctions of the particular
school (such as admonition, detention, extra assignments, suspension,
etc.). The zero tolerance is a policy that mandates that ALL
incidents of TTRB will be addressed directly in an appropriate manner.
Zero Tolerance also must apply to staff and teachers. The adults in the
school environment must remember that they always lead by example. When
teachers publicly ridicules or humiliates students in front of their classmates,
they are modeling and sanctioning the antithesis of the behaviors we are
working to eliminate.
Elements of a Zero Tolerance program
- Public Education
and Awareness Campaign - There needs to be a consciousness raising
campaign akin to the ones that accompanied the push for the end to
racial prejudice where songs like You can get good milk from
a brown skin cow, were developed to start the reeducation in
pre-school. A poster and slogan campaign that would paint the perpetrators
of TTRB as insecure kids who deflect potential criticism of themselves
by attacking others might be worth pursuing. An example might use
a slogan such as Bully on the outside=scared punk on the inside,
under a poster graphically depicting that message.
actual proclamation by the School Board calling for the elimination
of TTRB and the zero tolerance of such behaviors.
education of teachers and all staff, from principals to janitors,
on the Policy and suggested ways of implementing it. For this policy
to work, it must be administered consistently throughout each school
and the entire school system.
education of the students about the policy and how it will be enforced.
It would be important to include the principle that a student turns
his/her back on an act of TTRB is an accessory to the act in the same
way as one who did not report a violation of an honor code, in schools
where that exists, would be.
actual enforcement of the Zero Tolerance of Teasing, Taunting, Ridicule
and Bullying Policy.
Please write to Jason Wittman, the Executive Director with your comments and questions.
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