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The article seeks to tackle the issue of bullying and how the concerned parties reply to it. DeAngelis uses Salem high School to bring to mild the cases of bullying in the school, and how the respective agencies respond to the cases. Rylee DeLuca gives a good example of a bullying case to bring to mild how the school has responded to her claims. As such, the point of competition is whether the agencies concerned trouble effective resolution to cases of bullying. It is via article that the author outlines that such agencies ought to be proactive in dealing with bullying cases by investigating the perpetrator and not questioning the victim to understand the issue. The author presents the case of Salem’s High School to understand whether the school’s response to bullying is satisfactory, and how the parents perceive the measures the school undertakes.
Rylee DeLuca, a 15-year-old student at Salem High School, has been a victim of bullying both in Salem High and Woodbury Middle School. According to her Father, Wayne DeLuca, cases of bullying in Salem High have not been handled with the seriousness required; hence, the reason why parents question Salem High’s response to bullying. Sentiments by Joel Dolan, the Police Captain, are what seem to frustrate efforts to curb bullying. According to the police captain, it is almost acceptable to have four fights within a school with 1,100 students. such sentiments are what the parents decipher as complacency in responding to cases of bullying. The article also indicates that the victim’s parents, the perpetrator’s parents, and the administration often differ in trying to achieve a common ground. For example, when a student threw a cup of coffee and punched Rylee, the school’s superintendent, Michael Delahanty, claimed that such recordings may not provide the true account of such an incident; hence, parties may draw different assumptions.
DeAngelis makes it evident that there exists a culture related to bullying, which might be the reason why schools appear complacent in dealing with the issue. Education experts claim that such cases rarely end up in court, with Percy Hill, a retired district teacher, claiming that reporting such matters to the police is always the last resort. Lisa Ryer, a former Salem High School parent presents a case where she had to transfer one of her sons from the school since she felt like it did not handle bullying cases seriously. It is evident that Salem High and Woodbury Middle School have a history with bullying, with over 160 incidents being recorded within five years (2011-2016). The culture seems to dismiss concerns about bullying, with Ryer documenting a situation where one of her sons was bullied only for the administration to reply that it was the nature of boys, and that cannot be changed. Even though the district implemented an advisory program at Woodbury Middle School, both parents and students feel it is not enough since the lessons are not sufficient to tackle the vice.
The point of discussion from DeAngelis article is how schools can be proactive in tackling the situation. Todd DeMitchell, a professor at the University of New Hampshire, claims that zero-tolerance policies cannot be effective in mitigating bullying. The best possible way to achieve positive results is to identify the issues that cause bullying as a proactive measure. What schools do is simply stopping the fight rather than tacking the cause according to DeMitchell.
The article makes it evident that even though experts agree that administrators should be proactive, they fail to agree on ways to solve the issue. DeMitchell argues that each case reported ought to be handled differently, whereas Percy states that bullying cannot be handled similarly to relational aggression, which can be solved through mediation. However, Carol Croteau, founder of Bully Free NH, seems to have a feasible option whereby all efforts ought to focus on the perpetrator, which is the best possible means for schools to be proactive.
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