Your Lying Eyes

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08 July 2009

A Federal Anti-Bullying Law

From Article I of the U.S. Constitution:
Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises...

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To monitor and discourage bullying in the public schools;

To establish post offices and post roads...
A congressional hearing today was the focus of a push to have congress somehow insure that children are nice to each other. The showcase was the testimony of a mother whose child hanged himself apparently over teasing at school - a tragedy, but in a country of 300 million people it should take lots of tragedies to spur congressional action.

At any rate, a principal in Pennsylvania seems to have hit on an effective strategy.
Educators at the hearing called for "character education initiatives" to be built into school curriculums so students can learn ethical decision-making, behavior skills and conflict resolution tactics. As principal of the Hannah Penn Middle School in York, Pa., Rona Kaufmann converted the in-school suspension room into a "character education room," where students were engaged in developing strategies to better manage their attitudes, anger and peer interactions. During the 2007-2008 school year, there was a 60 percent reduction in discipline referrals, down from 5,000 a year to less than 1,200.
No doubt it wouldn't take too many of these "character education" sessions to deter even the most determined bully from his favored pastime.


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