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Ban Bullying at Mahwah High School

A look into how more anti-bullying measures should be instituted at the high school and all schools.

Is the leadership at Mahwah High School attune to the pervasive student social culture of bullying? Sadly, it does not appear so because bullying either directly, indirectly or in cyberspace is the lay of the land.  

Children are relentlessly picked on, ridiculed, whispered about, threatened, demeaned, and hypocritically treated by their peers. Of course, this behavior is unacceptable by the leadership, so they suggest to fill out a form, lodge a complaint. But that does not solve the fundamental bullying problem since it is so widespread and not just isolated incidents. 

Besides, children fear repercussions; the prey fear the predator.

What is sorely needed and has been enacted in other high schools across the land, is basic workshops, daily reminders, hall posters teaching and reminding children to be just plain nice to each other until it becomes convention and peer pressure would not tolerate anything other than civilized behavior.

Children should not fear going to school; it should be a pleasant experience, the good of learning the primary focus. Countless high schools across the country have institutued anti-bullying programs successfully, as a recent PBS documentary has witnessed. It is imperative Mahwah High School do the same for the sake of our children because only the leadership can set the proper learning environment.

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JMeyer January 25, 2013 at 05:36 PM
After reading "mom and educator" and "concerned parent's" comments, I understand why now bullying is so prevalent in the schools. With mentalities like that, it's no wonder kids are getting things thrown at their heads or having naked photoshopped pictures of them being floated around the school...These kids should develop thick skins according to you all!! You know what? What goes on amongst the kids today is hurtful. It hurts a kids feelings when someone spreads a rumor about them or jeers and pokes fun at them. That is hurtful and the tone of the article was about kids being nice to each other, but why would we want that? They just need to toughen up because they all have this inability to cope.. iIckening.
protective Momma Bear January 25, 2013 at 06:02 PM
If the kids were properly taught by their parents to, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything", however, in my house the saying goes as such.."If you cant say something nice.. JUST keep your mouth shut". All parties involved have probably at one time, said something to the other, Could it be as innocent as "Hi" and the other child took it a wrong way , or it could have been something cruel, EITHER WAY.....all the children involved, are still children that need to be taught by their parents to walk away and not engage. Making accusations against those who are innocent, is just another way to say..I'm stomping my foot and not getting what I want. I venture the say the accuser probably had one or two things to say that was hurtful to the others but she didn't think so.
NJ Mom January 26, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Remember here that we are dealing with children. It is perfectly normal and has been perfectly normal since the dawn of schools for cliques to form. It seems to me that your child was not accepted into such a clique and now they are saying they are bullied. The purpose of the anti bullying law is to protect those that are actually bullied. Those that are being taunted relentlessly both online and in school, those who are different and are being picked on for it. The purpose of this law is not to protect children who are upset that their friends no longer want to hang out with them. Its a HUGE difference. While it would be nice if everybody got along, that is just not realistic, in school or in the real world. It makes one wonder what message your child is getting. What happens when they get a job and they are not invited to lunch with their co-workers? Will they be bullied in the workplace? I'd rather raise a strong child, not a victim.
Bob Rama January 27, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Here's what Dana suggests be done to curb the epidemic of bullying in our schools, especially at the HS: 1.) Basic workshops <--Read new HIB legislation. It's required. Unless you're claiming that our district isn't doing this, in which case you should pursue it. 2.) Daily reminders<--I agree. I would hope it is happening. 3.) Hall posters <--They already exist 4.) Teaching and reminding children to be just plain nice to each other<--I agree. However, I can't imagine that our schools wouldn't be trying to do this already, unless you know something specifically to the contrary. Isn't part of being academic your ability to work with others? 5.) Start having assemblies about bullying<--Schools have been doing this for years. Do you really think 1 assembly this year would have been the difference in this epidemic? Looks like most of what you suggest might already be in place. In fact, based on that checklist, I've not stated any "gross inaccuracies". If all these are already being done, which it looks like it might, what else should be done? Should our schools patrol Facebook and other social media? You slam the schools for the HIB process they are required to use. Is that fair? If you know of a true culture of bullying outside of the norms of teenage life, cliques and relationships, I would urge you to go to the BOE. If this is as serious and urgent as you are saying, why you would post this here instead of going to them directly? They are the way to affect change.
Pierce January 28, 2013 at 01:55 PM
I think all of you have missed the point of this article, which really speaks to me personally as a senior at MHS. I can say firsthand there hasn't been a seminar at school all year. Posters? Nonexistent. My sister is a sophomore at school and girls are way worse than the guys. This isn't about cliques or friends one day and not the next, this goes way beyond that. Sure there's the usual high school drama but I can tell you that the girls are downright vicious. It can make a student's life miserable there on a daily basis. And no, I don't think enough is done about it. I've seen my sister come home in tears from being picked on, made fun of repeatedly and relentlessly. I've seen a friend of hers beg her parents not to send her back to school the following year there because there is a nastiness among the girls that doesn't quit. This isn't a simple you can't sit by me at lunch story. This is you're not wearing the right clothes so I'll call you a loser, ugly, and tell you that every day because the sight of you makes me ill. So every one that's commented here hasn't lived through all this. I have cousins who live in other states and I can tell you with 100 percent accuracy this doesn't have to happen!!!!! Kids can be nice to each other or at LEAST coexist where their daily school life isn't a dreaded one. They hear these stories and are totally shocked. So all you who scratch it off as high school cliques and drama are totally misinformed.

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