Column: Anti-bullying curriculum must change

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”file photo” align=”alignright” width=”300″] After last year’s Rachel’s Challenge assembly, students signed a pledge outside the cafeteria.
by Connor Vasu

Bullying is an issue that must be addressed, but the anti-bullying curriculum does not hit on the key problems and concerns of students.

This school should revamp the bullying curriculum with more movies and programs that do not gloss over bullying. In the current curriculum, classes and homerooms discuss the repercussions of bullying and ways to deal with bullying situations. The next anti-bullying seminar will be Thursday B-block.

In the new curriculum, this school should screen documentaries like “Bully,” which is a documentary that describes a year in the life of bullied students and parents of kids who have taken their lives due to bullying.

Documentaries are more effective than worksheets asking students to outline “team experiences” or to define “bullying” and “harassment.” People can relate to the characters in the movie, and bullies can realize their flaws by seeing how bullying hurts others.

The present curriculum is flawed because it glosses over bullying. For example, a few weeks ago, the anti-bullying lesson was about rape, but the word “rape” was never used. By not mentioning the word “rape,” the curriculum is not tackling such an important issue. Instead, this school is skirting around the issue.

Because the current anti-bullying curriculum does not touch on the heart of bullying, students treat the curriculum like a joke and, thus, do not engage with the information presented to them during anti-bullying lessons.

However, last year’s Rachel’s Challenge was a good addition to the curriculum. Students learned about the hazards of bullying and how it can get out of control.

Although the mass shooting was terrible and graphic in the movie, the message resonated with students more than the normal curriculum, showing them how serious bullying is.

This school should implement a new anti-bullying curriculum with movies and real-life scenarios to educate students and to reduce bullying.