That’s the number of students in the West Virginia school system who were disciplined for bullying, harassment or intimidation for the 2011-12 school year.
That’s the number of cases that went through the proper channels and ended with a disciplinary action. That doesn’t count the incidents not reported. That doesn’t count the students who suffer in silence or don’t feel like an incident is worth reporting.
And not surprisingly, the majority of incidents happened in middle schools statewide. According to the report, presented to the state school board late last month, 26 percent of incidents happened in high schools, 18 percent in elementary schools and the remaining incidents in middle schools/junior highs.
“The middle schools, that’s where it occurs,” state schools Superintendent Jim Phares said following the presentation of the report to the joint committee on education. “Part of it is the growth and lack of maturity of the students.”
The report says that bullying can be prevented by improving “overall conditions for learning.”
Since bullying accounts for only about 3 percent of infractions statewide, the theory is that if you create an environment where misbehavior and disobedience are not acceptable or tolerated, the number of cases of bullying will decline. The report also said that assemblies and single class lessons devoted to bullying are not very effective. The report also calls for extra training for teachers and administrators so they feel more capable to handle a bullying incident as well as promoting positive behavior in the classrooms and in the hallways. The final recommendation highlighted in the report is making sure that kids are serving suspensions in school so those children are “not deprived of needed supports.”
It’s a tough issue to deal with. On one hand, you know the behavior is very age-related, but on the other hand, no child should have to suffer through teasing, torment, fear and physical attacks. So what do you do?
We took the question to our faithful online readers, who log on each week to www.timeswv.com to answer our weekly online poll question. Last week we asked, “A recent study found that about half of the state’s bullying issues are happening on the middle school level. What do you think would help the most?”
And here’s what you had to say:
• More and better training for teachers and administrators — 9.76 percent.
• More focus on the issue and not just an assembly here and there — 15.85 percent.
• Not much ... It’s just an age thing that most kids grow out of — 19.51 percent.
• Consistent discipline and constant education — 54.88 percent.
No matter what, we can’t give up on our kids. Those who are hurting and in pain hurt others. Those who have been hurt by bullying carry around scars forever.
This week, let’s talk about the complex issue of the death penalty as some high-profile cases have brought the controversial issue back into the public dialogue. Where do you stand? Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
Funds donated to United Way make community healthier, happier, safer place
A dollar you give to the United Way of Marion County could feed a hungry family.
That dollar could protect a woman and her children from an abuser.
Or the dollar could mean that a family receives credit counseling to lift them out of overwhelming debt.
It could fund Scouting programs, where boys and girls learn lifelong lessons.
Project Launchpad puts critical concept of diversifying state economy into play
The case for diversifying the state of West Virginia’s economy is past the point of debate.
While it is our hope that coal can continue to have a role in our nation’s power-generating matrix, we’ve learned our lesson about over-dependence on a single industry. Particularly being overly dependent on an industry that, in the eyes of federal regulators, is out of fashion.
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- Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition