Alan Prendergast's post about a new bill from Representative Evie Hudak looked at the Columbine effect -- the inclination of many school officials to involve police in issues that might have been handled differently in a previous era.
One reader noted how difficult it is to know which call is the right one.
We certainly witnessed for ourselves the wide range of reactions to the case of the 11 year old arrested for his stick man drawing.
This is a no win situation, every time. If the authorities move on a possible/perceived threat, they're overreacting. If the principal doesn't refer up the chain and something bad happens any time afterward, then his/her head goes in the vice.
If, and this is huge, if we can explain and teach consequences to our kids at home we're ahead of the game. If our kids go to school with a clear understanding of what's acceptable behavior and what's not, we give ourselves an opportunity to raise decent children into productive adults.
That in mind, what happens when your kid plays by the rules, behaves in a decent manner, shows respect to other kids, knows the boundaries, and just does his or her job.........and is the target of mean spirited bullies and other malfunctioning children who behave abominably for whatever reasons?
Unfortunately, there's no law against "being an asshole". You can't legislate every possible scenario. In my opinion, instilling confidence, teaching parameters, giving our children the physical tools, the ability to defend themselves, and leading by compassionate example gives us a chance.
When other parents don't parent, and abdicate their responsibilities or even teach by mean spirited example, their kids will and do bring that attitude to school. Problems are guaranteed. Fights, bullying, and general harassment are present and unavoidable. We expect our kids to defend themselves, stick up for others who can't and to be leaders. And when they step up and set themselves up to be reprimanded?
That leaves the school, the teachers, the administration, the authorities to make decisions that are guaranteed to be at best controversial, and you don't even want to ponder the other alternative. Like I said earlier, it's a no win situation.
Maybe part of the solution lies in our kids being taught to take advantage of their abilities and capabilities, and giving off a self confident approach that deters wannabe predators.
Easier said than done. It's every day, and it's being involved probably more than any kid wants us to be. To our kids, what we consider our basic job, our responsibility, is "lecturing" and meddling".
I know one thing, bullies never look for fights. They only look for victims. And none of us want our kids to be victims.
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