Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bullying in the Albuquerque Public Schools

KOAT did a piece on a bullying incident in the Rio Rancho Schools, link. Their emphasis was on the victim and his mother, and not on the underlying roots of bullying in schools. Though the incident happened in Rio Rancho, it could have just as easily have happened in the APS. It does, in fact.

Perhaps KOAT will seize the opportunity to investigate and report upon the overall executive and administrative failure in dealing with bullies.

APS does deal with victims; they're offered all manner of help in coping with their injuries.

Bullies, on the other hand, are enabled by feckless discipline policies that don't require them to stop bullying, and by a blind insistence that bullies stay in the general population, with their victims.

If KOAT asked teachers, they would find very few who felt that the board and administration are taking care of business with respect to chronically disruptive students. They will tell KOAT that students are in control on (some?, most? all?) APS campuses (the data is not available by the deliberate decision of the administration).

The bullying is a manifestation of a lack of respect.

We used to teach kids what respect means, and why it is important.

We also used to teach them why following rules is important, and caring, and fairness, and responsibility, and trustworthiness.

We no longer teach students that their character counts. We no longer teach them why they should not bully nor tolerate bullying. We no longer teach them that making a video for YouTube is less important that telling an adult about the fight.

The abandonment of Character Counts! education in APS has not been justified, defended, or even acknowledged by the board members and administrators who engineered its quiet demise; rather than be held honestly accountable as role models of higher standards of conduct.

Perhaps KOAT will investigate and report upon APS' abandonment of any concerted effort to help kids understand the importance of character and courage and honor.

Or is that not newsworthy?

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