Resolution on Bullying

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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Whereas, Bullying in schools is a pervasive problem that can have negative consequences for the school climate and for the right of students to learn in a safe environment without fear, and one that can have negative lifelong consequences, both for students who bully and for their targets; and

Whereas, Bullying is comprised of direct behaviors such as teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting, and stealing that are initiated by one or more students against a target, as well as indirect behaviors such as spreading rumors and acting in other ways to cause a student to be socially isolated through intentional exclusion, with all such behaviors, direct or indirect, amounting to physical or psychological intimidation occurring repeatedly over time to create an ongoing pattern of harassment and abuse; and

Whereas, Bullying other children and being the target of bullies are considered risk factors for youth violence by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and other relevant organizations, and bullies whose behavior goes unchallenged risk ending up as violent adults, engaging in domestic violence and child abuse; and

Whereas, Bullying for too long has gone unchallenged, with parents, who are often unaware of the bullying problem, neglecting to talk about it with their children; with students feeling that adult intervention is infrequent and ineffective and will only bring more harassment from bullies; and with school personnel viewing bullying as a harmless rite of passage that is best ignored; and

Whereas, Those who stand by passively watching or actively encouraging bullying are also affected by these hostile acts; they encourage bullying by creating an audience, they may become desensitized to cruelty, they may learn to imitate bullying behavior and become bullies themselves, and/or they may be fearful for their own safety, adding to their own insecurity; therefore be it

Resolved, That National PTA and its constituent organizations support policies and programs that address the prevention, intervention, and elimination of bullying; and

Resolved, That National PTA and its constituent organizations endeavor, via educational literature, programs, and projects for parents, students, and school personnel, to bring about an atmosphere of zero tolerance for bullying behavior, and an attitude that bullying behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in homes, schools, playgrounds, buses, school activities, or any place children congregate; and be it further

Resolved, That National PTA and its constituent organizations work with the appropriate agencies and organizations in a national effort to inform the general public about the risks and cost of bullying for both the bully and the target, as well as those who witness bullying, and bring about a change in societal attitudes toward bullying.