In case you missed this op ed–I found it very thought provoking, especially after reading the many comments it garnered.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/12/opinion/defining-bullying-down.html.

One question for me is whether bullying–no matter how it is defined, broadly or narrowly–is a problem that Congress or state legislatures can solve. Think about that. More layers for schools to deal with –with questionable effectiveness–and, of course, less time for teaching and learning. Just think of the hours spent on compliance training–teaching educators how to fill out forms and comply with pages and pages of new rules. Is this really the best way to help children? Alas, we are not even asking this question?

I’d rather see articles like this one–and the many heartfelt comments–in the public square, not legislative halls–at least not until we agree on definitions and ‘best practices.’ We are a long way from all of that. Let us as a people come to consensus about what we will tolerate and what we will not.  And what works. Then, perhaps, let’s take it to our legislators.

First, let’s do some homework. I applaud this piece as a conversation-starter.

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line, DianeRavitch.net, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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