Today's New York Times features a huge, front-page story on cyberbullying and schools' responsibility/ability to react -- and Ridgewood's Benjamin Franklin Middle School is prominently featured.
I have to admit, when I saw the headline and saw "Ridgewood" in the first couple of lines, I cringed...a little worried about what I was about to read. I have to say, though, that by the end of the article, my overwhelming feeling was that of pride. The problem was well outlined, and our staff and students were portrayed as competent, caring and thoughtful, attempting to negotiate an uncharted legal, social, educational and moral landscape. The stories from other districts were fascinating as well, primarily for the way they illustrated the current state of flux for the laws and societal expectations in this area. When should schools get involved? How involved should schools be? These are not easy questions to answer and I thought Mr. Orsini, Mr. Wu and Ms. Wearley of BF very eloquently and capably communicated this.
I'm so glad we as a community are starting to talk about this more, so we can all move through this "wild west" period with a minimum of harm to students. I have no doubt we, as a society, will work it out. But this "in-between" time can be challenging.
Click here to read the entire NY Times story: Online Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray.
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