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Florida State Law Reducing Bullying – Or Is It?

This morning, while sipping my morning coffee, I ran across an interesting article regarding the results of  Florida’s Jeffrey’s Law, a law that was passed mandating Florida schools reported, tracked and took action to stop bullying in schools.

What made the article interesting were the numbers that were reported; some school districts reported zero instances of bullying while Palm Beach County – where I grew up and graduated high school – reported four thousand instances.  Granted, four thousand sounds like that is out of control, but Palm Beach County School District is one of the largest districts in the state.

The article goes on to talk about how some districts can report zero instances of bullying, while others report four thousand; how school districts may be manipulating the numbers to look like they are really “cracking down” on bullying, while others may be ignoring the problem to make their numbers look better.

What I found interesting  – and instructive – was the responses of the parent of the child whom the law is named for, plus the comments that were reported by parents who contacted schools in the instances their child was bullied.

Every single one of them had an expectation that the school systems were “responsible” to stop the bullying and in one instance, a parent wrote that he was going to hold the school system responsible, liable and negligent if something wasn’t done – meaning take legal action.

Sadly, this attitude is what is wrong when it comes to bullying, our parents, our school system, our government and unfortunately, our country.

Let’s start with our school systems and government.  Out here in the Socialist Republic of California, Governor Moonbeam, er – Jerry Brown – just signed legislation that public school systems are mandated to teach gay history as part of the curriculum.  I will not go into the subject or debate of gay history or if it should or should not be taught in the school system – that is a discussion for another time.

I will make this point; our current public school systems in most of the country – never mind California – are not doing too hot of a job getting our kids to do reading, writing and arithmetic; now we are going to add on top of that Gay History or Bullying? How about before we start trying to stop bullying or push social agendas, we get the basics down first?

As everyone can see from our current debt and economic crisis, governments do a piss-poor job of just about anything they touch that they weren’t designed to do.  Collect taxes, field a national defense, maintain infrastructure and make sure no one tramples on your civil rights or the Constitution is about it for the Federal Government; everything else is left to the states.  State charters vary, but they are similar models.

No where does it mention bullying.  Yes, you could argue that bullying can violate someone’s civil rights, especially if they are a “protected class”; I think that is missing the point, and that point is if you want to stop bullying, if you want your child to be safe, if you want to be free of fear and stand up to the bullies in your life, there is only one answer.

You.  Not the school systems.  Not the government.  Not your lawyer.  You.

Sure, you can use the law or a lawyer if you must, but do you really need one?  What happened to contacting the person face-to-face; standing up to someone and looking them straight in the eye and handling your business?

I recently had an instance of what I call OW – Office Warfare – where there were some “communication challenges” with someone and potential issues.  I did something that I later learned was not that common; I contacted the person directly, explained where I was coming from, that it wasn’t personal, and I wanted to discuss the issue and put it to bed.

In the end we agreed to disagree; more importantly, we each came away with a new-found respect for each other and an understanding moving forward on interacting in the future.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “What do I do if it isn’t that easy?  What if the person is hateful, physical, abusive, has beat me up or my child up, etc…?”

I heard a quote once that said something along the lines of, “Just because something is difficult, scary or we do not want to do it, has no bearing on the fact that it must be done.”

By standing up to the bullying, you are taking back your power andmawakening the “Sleeping Giant” within you.

Every single time you face a difficulty or challenge and make yourself take action, you get stronger internally.  Your self esteem and self image grows; you develop a mental toughness and a “I-Can-And-I-Will” attitude.

The stronger you get, the more you give off an energy of confidence and “Don’t Mess With Me”. This sort of energy repels bullies and energy suckers and attracts confident, happy people and circumstances.  The answer is – and always will be – taking personal responsibility and more importantly, action.  No one is coming to the rescue.

It is up to you to stop bullying in your life, no matter what form it may take.

To your best,


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