How Should Schools Handle Cyberbullying?
The girl’s parents, wild with outrage and fear, showed the principal the text messages: a dozen shocking, sexually explicit threats, sent to their daughter the previous Saturday night from the cellphone of a 12-year-old boy. Both children were sixth graders at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, N.J.
Punish him, insisted the parents.
“I said, ‘This occurred out of school, on a weekend,’ ” recalled the principal, Tony Orsini. “We can’t discipline him.”
Had they contacted the boy’s family, he asked.
Too awkward, they replied. The fathers coach sports together.
What about the police, Mr. Orsini asked.
A criminal investigation would be protracted, the parents had decided, its outcome uncertain. They wanted immediate action.
They pleaded: “Help us.”
I think the school is entirely correct. I’m sure they have their hands full trying to monitor what goes on in school during school hours.
As for the parents who think it’s “too awkward” to confront the boy’s parents – Epic FAIL. A police investigation takes time? welcome to reality.
“Help us” = handle this messy situation for us even though it’s really our responsibility.