Letters to the Editor

From the week of June 23, 2005

Provocative victims can be frustrating to teachers, and sometimes teachers express this frustration in front of other students. This can have the unintended effect of modeling for other children that it is okay to act in a negative manner toward these students, which can lead to further alienating them. By openly and honestly acknowledging that these students can frustrate us, we raise awareness about how our behavior toward these provocative victims impacts how other students treat them.

By stating that I was "sneering" as I discussed these students, Luke Turf runs the risk of perpetuating these negative attitudes toward provocative victims. As someone who has dedicated the past twelve years of his life to helping create safe, caring school environments for all students, I am deeply concerned about how my remarks could be misconstrued. Provocative victims, like other victims of bullying, should not be scorned or demeaned, but rather they should be given our support, compassion and help.

I hope this clears up any misconception that Mr. Turf or the reader of his article may have in this regard.

Larry Epstein, president.
Creating Caring Communities

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