West Bend Daily News, Opinion Page:
I am responding to the article on the harassment policy and speaking up as a concerned parent in the WB school district. I have children currently in elementary school. I realize that bullying and harassment are serious issues. However, I personally feel that this policy is not protecting their rights, but taking them away. I will explain. First, I believe that children need opportunities to think freely and speak their minds. The wording of the current harassment policy could limit them from simply disagreeing or debating thoughts or ideas with other students. It is the young minds who often dream bigger and challenge their culture and world to think outside the box. We should not discourage them from disagreements, that might possibly offend someone. Second, school is also a place where children need to learn to function in the real world. Dealing with offense, and even "harassment" could very plausibly happen in their adult lives. We should not be making everything a legal matter. If we are offended, we need to confront individuals before contacting lawyers. Bullying and harassment are wrong, but we must admit that there is a better way to deal with it than severe discipline from school officials and possible expulsion. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts.