New Jersey is passing some pretty aggressive anti-bullying laws in an attempt to make schools more accountable for bullying.
My opinion? It's yet another attempt on the part of government to get schools to do a job that parents should be doing.
Job #1: We need to do everything we can to bully-proof our kids. Build their self esteem and their confidence. Teach them to communicate effectively with bullies, teachers and friends.
Job #2: We need to identify our own children as bullies. Teach them compassion, respect - and most importantly empathy.
But what will stop bullying forever?
Most kids don't fit in Job #1 or Job #2 - but this doesn't mean parents are off the hook. Job #3 seldom gets any attention at all - and yet it's probably the most important.
Job #3: Teach kids who are not bullied or bullies not to tolerate other kids being bullied. Teach them that they can (and should) stick up for the weaker kids. Teach them to identify bullying and how to report it to teachers and parents.
If everyone does their part we can make life much easier and more enjoyable for bullied kids... and for bullies.