School Bullying Law Emphasizes Prevention, Model Policies
November 14, 2008
Revises the definition of “bullying” in state law. Under the bill, “bullying” means “any overt acts by a student or a group of students directed against another student with the intent to ridicule, harass, humiliate or intimidate the other student while on school grounds, at a school-sponsored activity or on a school bus, which acts are committed more than once against any student during the school year.” This new language replaces the prior law’s phrase: “repeated against the same student over time”.
On Wednesday, my girls had the unique opportunity to become part of the legislative process in their state. It was the second annual Girl Scout Advocacy Day at The Legislative Offices in Hartford. For the second year, our Troop attended.
We were able to take part in a press conference televised by Fox News CT in which the Girl Scouts were advocating for proposed Bill that would revise the definition of bullying to include cyberbullying. Two Girl Scout Cadets, one in middle school, the other a senior in high school, spoke of their personal experiences with cyber-bullying.
I wanted Grace to hear this message. Part of the reason her father and I decided against allowing her to have her own private email was our concern over what we would be allowing into our daughter’s life. Since we are not in school, cyber-bulling is not at the forefront of our concerns but chain emails which can be scary, threatening and a nuisance are. Our Priest at church made us stop and think this past Sunday when he said the more things we have, the more things we have to worry about. Greg and I talked about this and it seemed like he was speaking directly to us. Children have plenty of time to have access to things like personal email, facebook and twitter when the are older. For now she has access to what she wants through my email, even though that embarrasses her at times.
After the press conference our girls stopped and said hello to the news reporter covering the event. She asked the girls their favorite part of scouting and shared stories of her scouting days. Grace mentioned to her that her desire is to become a meteorologist and she was invited to schedule a tour of the weather center!
Before we went to Hartford my girls and I read the Secret of the Sachem’s Tree by F. N. Monjo. It is a short historical fiction book about the legend of Connecticut’s Charter, threatened to be revoked by the King of England. Legend has it that the charter was spirited away when the lights were extinguished on a town hall meeting with the King’s Representative. The local townsfolk hid the charter in the old hollow oak tree safely out of harm’s way. The King’s representative left empty handed and the new King and Queen of England granted approval to continue the charter. The old hollow oak stood for years until felled by hurricane winds. The tree was carved into the chair that is now used by the Lt. Governor. It is affectionately called “the wishing chair” as she is always wishing to become the Governor! Each girl had the opportunity to push the Yea or Nay button our Senator would use, as well as get her chance to wish upon the wishing chair. The Charter Oak became our state's symbol, appearing on many official documents, our state coin, and the name of a major state bridge. I think it stands for resourcefulness, cleverness, cunning and bravery. This act of preservation led the way for the creation of our national constitution.
Our tour of the captial ended with us back at the Girl Scout reception area where they caught a glimpse of our new elected Governor, Gov. Malloy. It was a long, tiring day but one that was filled with history, beauty, legend, civics, friendship, current events and camaraderie. At 10:30pm we said goodnight after we watched ourselves on the 10pm news. Thankfully we set our DVR so we can play it over and over to our friends and family!
|friends and Girl Scout sisters|
|Yea or Nay?|
|hope it comes true!|