Thursday, August 29, 2019

Not an angle I'd have expected...

"The federal mandate today is to create a completely safe school environment. The US Department of Education in August 2010 declared the goal of eliminating bullying from schools. In many states, schools will be denied No Child Left Behind funding if they fail to demonstrate that they have guaranteed students' safety from bullying. Children cannot concentrate when they live in fear of bullies, and they deserve a school environment free of fear. Therefore, it is our responsibility to provide them with a completely safe school environment. School staff are now required to constantly monitor children’s social lives to prevent any bullying from occurring. Many schools are eliminating recess and shortening lunch periods to prevent the chance of children hurting each other. Some schools have forbidden all physical contact among children, teaching them to high-five each other without touching and to play the game of tag by stepping on each other’s shadows rather than tagging their bodies. Some school districts are hiring “recess coaches” to make sure that an adult is constantly supervising students’ play activity."
When articles in Psychology Today are talking about the negative outcomes fostered by aggressive anti-bullying policies and zero tolerance for physical contact in schools, it might be worth stepping back and reassessing them.