Varsity Preps

Kosnitzky’s Korner: The Issue of Bullying

 

 

Whether you live 15 minutes from Miami Dolphins Training Facility as I do or just a member of society, you were exposed to the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito bullying saga.   This has been a story of tosses and turns which involves race and in many ways corporate culture.  While our NFL teams are merely for-profit entertainment companies with specific practices and customs, it is important to learn what may occur among our high school teams. In particular, since our youth emulate their heroes every Sunday and often have dreams of how they may look if they played for one of the 32 professional teams.

 

In my state of Florida, I am not reading about any acts of bullying with our high school football teams and if it does exist they may appear to be isolated incidents.  The question becomes why?  While we hope that our coaches perform their responsibilities to their team as ethical and moral leaders, my state has placed mandates on this sort of behavior among our grades K-12 youth.

 

Florida Statute 1006.147, known as the “Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act,” prohibits bullying and harassment of students and since December, 2008, places a heavy level of responsibility on the school districts to  act proactively and reactively when addressing any issues related to bullying.  Based on the law, “bullying”   may involve the following :

1. Teasing;
2. Social exclusion;
3. Threat;
4. Intimidation;
5. Stalking;
6. Physical violence;
7. Theft;
8. Sexual, religious, or racial harassment;
9. Public or private humiliation; or
10.  Destruction of property.
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In this era of accelerated technology, things such as cyber bullying have become an issue of discussion regardless of what has been alleged in Miami thus far.  At a minimum, this issue has opened a discussion and anything that protects our youth is worthy  of our thoughts. 

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