Violence in schools can't be stopped by legislation

-- Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram - March 26

Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2001

If only passing legislation would remove all the bullies from the school playgrounds and cafeterias and hallways between classes.

If only requiring school districts to produce annual reports about their anti-harassment policies would make kids show more respect. ...

Legislatures in several states have passed or are considering bills requiring school districts to develop policies against bullying, intimidation and other forms of boorish behavior. Colorado would require districts to report annually on their systems. ...

But the problems are too complex to simply be legislated away.

They can be addressed by teachers and parents working together to create families and schools where children feel listened to, connected and respectful toward others. Students who disengage should not be ignored.

If only more parents started teaching their children the Golden Rule early, continued reinforcing it -- and provided examples by their own behavior. ...

If only more schools initiated programs in conflict management and peaceful resolution of disputes. ...

If only more adults could slow down their lives to pay attention to the children in their care.

Maybe there would be less need for soul-searching after yet another school tragedy.

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