When it comes to anti-bullying efforts, most seem to be in agreement that we need to do something about bullying. It is everyone’s moral obligation to lookout for the safety of students and do the right thing. However, in New Jersey, there is a debate on new legislation and school requirements.
On November 1, 2011, the Executive Director at New Jersey Association of School Administrators, Mr. Richard Bozza, submitted an ‘Opinion’ piece discussing the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights that started by saying, “THERE’S NO question about it. We need to do something about bullying.”
Mr. Bozza’s opinion also stated the unfunded mandate requires schools to meet a long list of requirements. Mr. Bozza’s opinion referenced several concerns with implementing the law including an 18-page compliance checklist, paperwork, reviews and legal expenses.
On November 8, 2011, Mr. Stuart Green from the New Jersey Coalition for Bullying submitted his counter ‘Opinion’ saying. “Addressing bullying is not a matter of money. It is a moral obligation.”
WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT BULLYING…SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
The solution begins with equipping everyone with the right tools they need to prevent bullying. Schools need innovative tools and platforms that replace inefficient, ineffective and expensive status quo approaches that Mr. Bozza describes.
For example, traditional training approaches are expensive and time consuming. However, innovative web-based tools cost MANY TIMES LESS than the expenses schools are incurring with paper handouts, trainers, facilities, overtime and lost productivity costs.
Yes, paperwork costs are expensive, so why are schools creating more paperwork these days?? Innovative platforms eliminate paperwork and improve efficiencies and improve results.
Yes, legal fees are expensive, but anti-bullying policies are needed with or without the law, so WHY wouldn’t the New Jersey Association of School Administrators provide templates with customization guidance to their members??
Delays from scheduled school vacations, staff vacations and police involvement…once again the status quo approaches Mr. Bozza refers to are inefficient, ineffective and expensive. Innovative tools empower School Safety Team members to securely login from anywhere and review incidents as needed without delays. Innovative tools enable School Safety Teams to easily document actions, investigations, prevention efforts, follow up efforts and review previous incidents saving tremendous amounts of time, resources and money compared to traditional approaches.
The steps in the 18-page checklist Mr. Bozza mentions should already be taking place in schools, however an innovative platform of tools can equip school personnel to save time, money and resources.
The bottom line is that schools are spending too much time, resources and money on traditional approaches that lessons learned clearly show are not working. Schools can both reduce their costs and “do something about bullying”. I expect more from leaders, because alibis do not save lives…or money.