We are now losing precious lives because children and teens who are being bullied in our schools have no real way out. Currently we're asking children to solve adult-like problems. Why? Because we refuse to call bullying what it REALLY is...child ABUSE! Florida Statues-Chapter 39, "Child abuse means abandonment, abuse, harm, mental injury, neglect, physical injury or sexual abuse of a child." Further the Statues note that "abuse is any willful act or threatened act that results in ANY physical, mental or sexual injury or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child's physical, mental or emotional health to be significantly impaired." Is suicide significant enough?
Florida's child abuse laws recently changed to include stiffer penalties (fine and/or 3rd degree felony) for those who DO NOT report. This is important because school teachers, administrators, staff and parents would finally; 1) stand up for EVERY child as adults should 2) keep "bullying" in the forefront of discussions at school AND at home 3) report ALL incidents happening in the schools.
Every school will say, "we have a zero tolerance policy for bullying". Do they have ANY intention to actually putting a stop to bullying? Then why won't they listen to experts in the field who have done the research and say that a "zero tolerance" method is a misdirection in bullying prevention and should be avoided (see stopbullying.gov). Please sign this petition to add "bullying" to the acts that are considered "child abuse". You may be saving a life today.