ED bullies schools over bullying
A week before the mid-term elections, Arne Duncan and his team have taken a courageous stand: they’re against bullying children. “Bullying is a problem that shouldn’t exist,” the Secretary said without a hint of irony when announcing a new initiative to define anti-gay bullying as a civil rights violation. Nobody has anything good to say about schoolyard bullying and the news that several gay teenagers committed suicide after relentless teasing and taunting is tragic. But what on earth do Duncan et al. think they can do about this via civil rights enforcement? OK, they’ll provide “guidance” and conduct “site visits” and work with local districts on “improvement plans” and probably threaten to withhold federal dollars. But here’s a prediction: all of that rigmarole will yield very little progress on the anti-bullying front. It will, however, reinforce the compliance mentality of school officials. (Forget student achievement; better make sure those anti-bullying plans are up to date lest the investigators appear!) Duncan talks a good game about federal education policy being “tight-loose” (forceful about results, laid back about means) but we’re still waiting to see signs of loose.
“Anti-gay bullying may violate civil rights, Ed. Dept. warns,” by Christina A. Samuels, Politics K-12 Blog, October 26, 2010.
blog comments powered by Disqus