Letter to the Editor: Should students be charged regardless of the situation?


My daughter has been bullied by another student since school has let back in. My daughter reported this bullying to a teacher who then talked to the student and told her not to make jokes about other people if it wasn’t nice. However, the bullying continued and my daughter has been trying to ignore her and not be in her path.
Then, after the girl was harassing her again, my daughter finally stood up for herself, and when the fight took place, my daughter’s hit landed first so she was charged with disorderly conduct and sent to family court.
I don’t understand how this situation would have ever gotten this far to charges being filed against a child when an adult should have been in place to take more steps or better steps to prevent these things from happening. Now my daughter, who was the victim in the situation, is being attacked legally because her punch landed first.
By no means do I promote hitting or fighting as acceptable, because it is not. But are we teaching our students that it is OK to be bullied even if the teachers do nothing? Should our students have to face legal charges for a school conflict? My husband and I both feel that the system needs to be changed. There should be other measures in effect when bullying and harassment are involved. The measurements that are being conducted against my daughter legally should not be done because she was defending herself against a bully.
The school system should have a better way of dealing with their students on bullying and harassment. The teacher who was informed of this should have documented it and brought it to the attention of another authority figure and this whole situation could have been avoided. I feel that the teacher should have took both students to the principal or vice principal or guidance counselor or even the school resource officer to discuss with both students that bullying threats and harassment is not tolerated and then maybe this would have eliminated an altercation from taking place. Now we have to deal with a negative mark on our child’s records because somewhere between it being reported and this incident, the bullying was allowed to continue. Every report of abuse, harassment, bullying, etc., needs to be handled in a manner in which action is taken to avoid any more of our children being processed and placed in the system as criminals.
Not every situation is the same, but by all means should we try our best to put in place helpful systems that will encourage the feeling of safety and also discourage violent behavior.

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