Thursday, October 3, 2013

A 12 year old was arrested in Connecticut for bullying

Bullying seems to be a problem in many, if not most, societies.  This is when one or more children in school begin to treat another child extremely badly.  Bullying can be purely verbal or it can involve physical violence.

In the USA, to be completely honest, educators never seemed to take bullying seriously until the Columbine High School shooting of the late 90s.  At this high school two students who had been bullied, and who received no help from the school, were able to get various types of guns and they shot a number of students and teachers before shooting themselves.

In the USA there are a number of anti-bullying programs in place in the school system. (An anti-bullying program is a program where young people are taught how harmful bullying can be and are encouraged not to bully.)  Yet, bullying persists (continues).

In a city in Connecticut, however, the police decided to take action in regard to a case of bullying.  As you can read, they arrested a 12 year old girl who (stupidly) refused to stop bothering a classmate.

The article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

relentless - non-stop; if someone is relentless, he/she refuses to stop doing something

to be arrested - this is when the police become involved in a situation and take action against a person by taking the person into custody (into the police station)

to taunt someone - it's difficult to define 'taunting.'  If someone keeps verbally attacking another person by saying that the person is ugly or stupid or that the person can't do things very well, this is taunting.

to harass - to continually bother, irritate someone

a private middle school - so this was not a 'public' school and a middle school is considered to be 6th, 7th and 8th grade in the USA (11, 12, 13, 14 years old).

intensified - became worse

suicidal comments - the victim (the person being bullied) started talking about killing him/herself

disorderly conduct - disorderly conduct usually means fighting publicly or acting badly in a public place.  So this shows that there are really no laws in Connecticut to protect young people from bullying.

custody - if someone is in police custody, they have arrested that person and the police are now responsible for that person.  This 12 year old is now back in the custody of her parents.

vigorously - strongly

allegations - when someone claims that something wrong has occurred

when appropriate - when it is right to do this

to condone something - to allow it to happen

Discussion/writing questions:

Do you feel that this was the right thing to do?

Why do you feel the police arrested this 12 year old?

Should the parents of the child who is the bully be punished?

How bad is bullying in your society, and what is your country doing about it?

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