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Bullying: A Problem Legislation Cannot Solve

1228 words - 5 pages

The years students spend within the school environment can be some of the most exciting, enjoyable, rewarding, and memorable years of their lives; making new friends, attending dances, having parities, joining clubs. These years can also be memorable for another reason; bullying. No doubt the time spent in the educational environment can have a significant impact on not only the present quality of students’ lives but also on their future; into young adulthood and beyond. It is with this understanding that parents and educators wish to do what is within their power in order to prevent bullying, and assure a positive present and future for every student. But having the best interests of another at heart doesn’t excuse hasty or ill-conceived interventions; especially when they may lead to greater troubles for those who were meant to benefit from such interventions, and who could not act on their own behalf to implement or prevent such interventions. Though parents, educators, and adults desire the best for the nation’s youth and measures should be taken in order to ensure a healthy environment for students, the United States federal government should not enact laws to prevent bullying. Bullying behavior has been experienced by many over the course of human history, but, while this problem has become a prominent issue of recent time, there isn’t enough research that supports a single legislative solution that could be enforced with universal results.
Bullying has become a prominent focus in recent years for parents, educators, and legislatures, yet there are conflicting opinions and conflicting evidence about the solution to the problem, and whether bullying is even as severe as it is being portrayed. Joseph Simplicio, author of the article “Suck it Up, Walk it Off, Be a Man: A Controversial Look at Bullying in Today’s Schools” mentions that proving a student was bullied can be very difficult, and the watchful eye of some parents today is often hyper vigilant when it comes to the comfort, success, and protection of their children. While this does pose a problem in identifying if bullying had occurred when there wasn’t an authority figure present to assess the conflict between students, there is a clear definition of bullying when it is observed. The United States Department of Health and Human Services defines bullying as “…unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time” (Bullying Definition). While non-witnessed bullying behavior may be difficult to prove and the severity of the problem is questioned by some, many students still feel they are subjected to bullying behavior as indicated by authors Shelia M. Austin, Glenda P. Reynolds, and Shirley L. Barnes in their article “School Leadership and Counselors Working Together to Address Bullying.”
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)...

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