Taking tough stand on bullying is important

The news is full of stories about the act of bullying and the effects that it can have upon our children.

Our schools have rewritten policies and student handbooks to incorporate sections dedicated to bullying specifically – which encompass all aspects of school including transportation, school sponsored events and school property.

Our tax dollars have been distributed and spent to administer programs to our children about the topic and related aspects in addition to advertise their anti-bullying standing.

We also (as parents) are required to review (with our children, which school officials do as well) and sign off of this formal policy handbook each school year.

So is all of this actually working? Are our children really being protected? It is a current debate across our nation – especially in light of the continued (and escalating) acts that we witness and hear about.

As a parent in the Hollidaysburg Area School District, we have had to face the effects of our children being bullied and are seriously doubting the true support of our school and its administrators in respect to bullying and the seriousness of the matter.

Having had incidents, we have followed protocol in reporting and have witnessed the lack of real action by the school. Yes, administrators have spoken with those involved; however, there have been retaliatory bullying and escalated acts.

We want our children to be safe – in the community and especially at their school. No child should be afraid to get on the school bus, ride to/from school, sit in a classroom and enjoy the benefits that our education system – heavily funded through our tax dollars – has to afford.

Educators and school administrators need to take notice. It is time to truly support, and abide by, the policies that have been enacted.

We as parents will do what is required to protect our children and will hold those accountable for their action (or lack thereof) in all applicable instances.

Diana Maher