Bullying in BVSD by T.C.

“In the fourth grade was when it really got out of control. A group of kids on the playground kept following me around, calling me a bunch of names and harassing me. The ones that I can still remember are names like an elephant, fatty, or the giant, names that really hurt my self esteem as a young kid. It got to the point where teachers or administration weren’t doing anything to help, so I had to take the matter into my own hands.” TC 12th Grade.

Bullying is a nation wide problem if not world wide. Many schools are choosing to take bullying into their own hands by creating safe zones at school or Safe2Tell program. Boulder Valley School District in Colorado has adopted a district wide policy for bullying called No Place For Hate. The program is suppose to decrease bullying by creating a safe environment for students and create a positive learning space for students. With more than 47,000 students from 50 schools in Colorado following the program, it seems like bullying should be gone from schools, but is that really the case?

“No, bullying is definitely not gone with the No Place for Hate program, but I do believe it is helping [people]. It isn’t followed by as many people as the program targets, that’s for sure.” AR 12th Grade.

No Place For Hate’s main focus is to confront the bias that we see in our workplaces, homes, schools, and communities including anti-Semitism, racism, and other forms of bigotry and discrimination. With many schools saying they follow No Place For Hate, who is enforcing the policy? As found on the Nevin Platt Middle School counseling website page, students are to sign a pledge committing themselves to follow the No Place For Hate program. Southern Hills Middle School however has a No Place For Hate Club, called the Cougar Care Club, but is the program followed as strictly as it is believed to be?

It seems the No Place For Hate program is not being enforced at Fairview as much as BVSD says it is. Recently, a student called another student very strong, vulgar words because of who they supported for the election, constantly yelling at him and even slapped him while he tried to ignore her.

“You just try to ignore them as much as possible, but everyone has a boundary to it [bullying] and it can be crossed at any moment.” TC 12th grade.

Many can laugh it off as it didn’t happen, but this is only one form of bigotry, a intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself, at Fairview. Many other types include calling students in College Prep classes retarded or stupid because they are not the stereotypical Fairview Student in multiple IB/AP classes. It very hard to believe that the policy is actually being followed like it is stated on several BVSD school websites with how bullying is handled right in front of the administrative offices or security office.

“No, I do not think that the administrative team at Fairview handles bullying like they should, but it isn’t always their fault. It’s definitely hard to tell whether two students are just messing around with each other as friends and they know it’s just fun and games, or if a student is being targeted and harassed.” MB 12th grade.

Lots of students choose to stay quiet about the bullying they witness because they don’t want to get involved. Even students that are being harassed try to stay quiet because they just don’t want to make the bullying worse, but as stated before, everyone has a boundary to bullying and what they can take mentally. Sometimes, bringing in an adult can help a lot with bullying.

“I’ve noticed that once parents are brought into the situation, the administration jumps in and takes care of the bullying immediately. The administration didn’t know about a situation where a student was being severely harassed and once their parents heard about it, they contacted administration and suspended the bully that day.” BK 12th Grade.

Bringing a parent or trusted adult into the situation can always help neutralize the situation, but even some parents question if No Place For Hate is followed closely.

“We as a family have never had a bunch of luck with the administration when our kids were bullied. We had no luck when our older son was bullied in elementary school, and our younger school got harassed in a classroom on Halloween when a kid called him a “raging homosexual” for his costume in front of the whole class. Why didn’t the teacher intervene?” Mother of two sons who have been bullied in the past at Fairview and other schools in BVSD.

Even students who have been bullied before believe that they have to try and stop it because they do not believe the administration will do anything to help. It’s very uncomfortable to hear that from students.

“When I was being bullied a lot in the fourth grade, I took matters into my own hands. I got tired of the name calling, so when the main kid that was making fun of me called me fat, I tackled him on the playground. I thought that would stop it, but I ended up being the one in trouble and labeled the bully by administration because I tackled him. I told my parents about it, and they helped me take care of it. We went to his house that night, and I confronted him in front of his parents about bullying me. I was never bullied by him ever again.” TC 12 Grade.  

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