Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Harassment brings expulsion in other countries

If you think I've been too hard on school harassers, I've been a softie compared to almost every country in the world outside the United States.

People in most countries take this shit seriously. Up until not too long ago, serial harassment was also something of a taboo in much of America. It wasn't until the '90s that most American locales began considering bullying a civil right. A lot of people think school harassment was as widespread 25 years ago as it is now, but it wasn't even close. I was around in the '80s, and I know it's worse now because schools do more to encourage it.

How serious is the rest of the world in tackling school bullying? In Jakarta, Indonesia, a gang of 5 students was recently expelled for harassing a schoolmate. The group had reportedly beaten him bloody. Not only were the 5 youths expelled, but the case was handed over to the police. (Somehow I can't imagine my first high school doing that.)

And did you know that public schools in Britain, France, and Germany also expel harassers? This decisive penalty hasn't eliminated the scourge of serial harassment, but it's made inroads. In these countries, fewer students report being victimized than in the United States.

I'm a reasonable guy, and I'm all for expulsion. Let the perps go uneducated. The priority should be on making schools a safe learning environment for everyone else. The made-up "rights" of a school harasser shouldn't take precedence over the real rights of the rest of the students to learn.

If you're worried about 5% of the population costing society because they got kicked out of school and don't have an education, it'll cost less than the other 95% not getting an education because of school being disrupted so much.


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