Bullying should be a criminal offense
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I am a family therapist in Connecticut and I hear all too often that kids are consistently being bullied for looking different, enjoying to learn, having a disability, or fill in the blank. All too often I am told from children in school that bullies seem to “have psychological problems” and therefore teachers and principals cannot take action because the bully “is getting help” or “is not seen doing the bullying”. Yet child after child that comes into my office have disclosed at least one experience of being a victim of bullying and each one can say it affected them emotionally. I speak to parents who drive their kids to school to avoid riding the bus or pull their kids out for a few days from school because the child doesn’t feel good- let alone safe. This is now a systemic issue. Parents are unable to advocate for their children because the schools tell parents that they “spoke to the child” or the child was suspended for a few days (which likely means s/he went home to play video games all day). It’s time to take a stand. If kids don’t want to go to school for fear of being bullied or can’t focus at school because they’re constantly looking over their shoulder, then what will be of our future? If our country upholds education as a way to make a living and to become successful then how can a child achieve with bullying in the way? More consequences need to be taken and bullying needs to be a criminal offense, because it is an act that not only affects the victim, but a society and a community as a whole.
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