JAPAN PASSES LAW AGAINST BULLYING IN SCHOOLS

Japan’s government last week enacted a bill that forbids bullying at elementary, junior high and senior high schools, in the attempt of stopping  the serious increase of bullying cases that have occurred in the country.

The law was voted in favor by the ruling coalition and other opposition parties at a plenary session in the upper house, according to the international press.

According to the new bill, bullying that leads to serious physical or mental trauma to children or makes them be absent for a long period of time is defined as a “serious case”.

Under the law, schools are required to report confirmed serious cases to the education ministry and local government. Next, the case is to be investigated by the school and education boards to obtain details.

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Japan Looks to Address Bullying, Suicides at Schools

A growing number of suicides by students in Japan and inadequate attempts by schools to address the issue have prompted the drafting of new legislation to help teachers spot and prevent bullying in schools.

The education ministry is also considering setting up permanent investigation teams throughout the nation to look into suicide cases involving school children. A common theme in the legislation and ministry committee debates is the need for more independent experts apart from the school to be involved in identifying the causes of bullying and suicides and measures needed to prevent them.

The issue has drawn renewed national attention following a 2011 case in the western city of Otsu in which a 13-year-old boy killed himself after being repeatedly bullied by three classmates. The Otsu Board of Education was criticized for turning a blind eye to the boy’s plight and conducting a careless investigation after the fact. For months the board even denied that bullying was linked to the boy’s death. In February, Otsu city officials formally admitted that bullying contributed to the suicide, according to local media reports.

Suicides among students up to high school age increased by nearly 30% in 2011 from the previous year, according to the latest data available from the education ministry.

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Alleged Bully Teacher Removed at East, Parents Say More to be Done

A teacher at Cherry Hill East who allegedly bullied her freshman English students is out of the classroom, replaced by a long-term sub, but parents who first brought the concerns to school administrators say the situation still isn’t completely resolved.

Kimberly Real, who parents say insulted her freshman students and used discriminatory and insensitive language in the classroom, was yanked about three weeks ago, more than a month after a group of parents brought their concerns before the school board.

Though it’s a step in the right direction, more remains before they consider the situation closed, they said.

“I think it’s a win, absolutely,” Susan Levy Warner said. “Our children are not being subjected to the harassment and bullying any longer…but it’s not over—it’s not been completely resolved.”

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New bill could send bullies to jail

LANSING — A new bill could crack down on bullying by making it a crime.

House Bill 4746 was introduced this week by Rep. Dale Zorn.

Under the bill, bullying and cyber bullying would be punishable by up to 93 days in jail or a fine of up to $1,000, or both. The bill would also let the court call for a mental health evaluation of someone convicted of bullying.

“I have met with school administrators, students, parents, prosecutors and judges to create legislation that defines the assault of bullying in schools, the workplace and over the internet,” said Zorn, R-Ida.  “The behavior of bullying has become a societal problem that may need to be eradicated through professional counseling.

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On the Job: How to battle bullying at work

If it worked in school, some adults think antagonizing others can make their jobs easier.

In the documentary Bully, filmmakers followed the lives of five students who were bullied on a daily basis.

Many people identified with the kids who were taunted and called names at school, and the film often evoked unpleasant memories for adults who recalled being bullied.

Unfortunately, bullying doesn’t end on the playground, Bully producer and writer Cynthia Lowen, says.

COLUMN: Workplace becomes new schoolyard

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Many adults are victims of bullying bosses or co-workers. And, just as in school, many peers stand by and watch it happen without intervening.

“There needs to be a lot more education about this issue in the workplace,” she says. “We can’t just put zero-tolerance policies in place — in school or the workplace — without having a comprehensive understanding about bullying.”

For example, many people may believe that only the bullying target is made to suffer, but a recent government study of bullying in Swedish workplaces shows that that bullying also harmed witnesses. Specifically, women who were witnesses to the bullying saw an increase of about 33% in clinical depression while male witnesses experienced about a 16% increase.

“Bystanders and the whole organization are involved in the process of bullying behavior, and, in turn, intervention programs should be focused on the whole workplace system,” researchers from Sweden’s Institute of Environmental Medicine say .

Lowen says most of us as children tried bullying. Those who felt badly about their behavior stopped.

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Though reports about bullying are increasing, the behavior itself is not

Bullying, according to new data, is down among US middle school students, despite an increase in media reports coving the subject. In fact, violence has dropped nearly 75 percent in the last two decades.

Do people ever consider the possibility that, if they’re exposed to increased reports about a social problem, it’s the reporting that has increased rather than the problem? It’s increasingly clear that this is the case with school bullying: Only news reports about it have increased, not the behavior itself. In fact, both bullying and fear of it are down among US middle school students (the grade levels that tends to experience bullying most), Education Week reports, citing new numbers from the National Center for Educational Statistics.

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This is data reflecting both physical and verbal aggression. For all students in grades 6-12, “hate-related graffiti” in school classrooms, bathrooms, hallways, etc. “dropped from about 36% in 1999 to about 28% in 2011. The rate of students who reported fearing an attack or harm at school at all has also dropped dramatically, from nearly 12% in 1995 to less than 4% in 2011. For black and Hispanic students, it’s an even more encouraging shift—from more than 20% of both groups of students worried about being attacked at school to less than 5% in 2011 [the latest figures available].”

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Bullying at Bronx all-girls Women’s Academy of Excellence forced 15-year-old to skip two months

Bulies at a Bronx all-girls public high school so viciously terrorized a 15-year-old sophomore that she has skipped two months of classes, the Daily News has learned.

The teens also used social media to bully the sophomore at Women’s Academy of Excellence.

“Im forever gonna jack BALD HEADED B——!” one of her tormentors posted, referring to the girl’s partially shaved head.

“I’m saying though! B—— that run they mouth can get put out #simple,” another missive read.

The abuse began in November, with two beatings in the cafeteria of the school, which earned a C grade, though with an F for school environment. Cops were called to the second incident — but did not file a report.

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This anonymous 15 year old sophomore at Women’s Academy of Excellence has been out of school for 2 months because of repeated physical and Facebook based bullying. Her Mother has applied for a transfer bt they received one to the failing Dewitt Clinton High School. Photographed , March 22nd, 2013. For Corinne Letsch story. (Craig Warga / NY Daily News)

“I felt like the whole school started to turn on me,” the soft-spoken victim told the Daily News. “I was really by myself.”

The bullies kept up their vitriolic behavior on Facebook during that time, calling her a “tall doofy-headed b—-” and an “ugly b—-.”

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