Bullying programs have served their intended purpose during the years that they have been active in schools across the nation. They have, as thoroughly as they could, reduced the amount of harassment that takes place in public schools.
These programs are serving their purpose as well as they are going to; however, school boards don't seem to have realized this fact. They continue to schedule more assemblies with the belief that they can eradicate bullying entirely.
While it is a nice goal, school boards have turned these programs into overzealous crusades. Younger children are headed to bullying assemblies more and more frequently, often losing valuable educational time to go listen to the same speeches over and over and over again.
Having these assemblies every now and again is fine, but for the students who are still harassing others, another lecture isn't going to change their mind.
In addition, good students are getting caught up in the crossfire in this "War on Bullies." Every day, more and more actions are being qualified as bullying. While emotional and cyber bullying are real problems that should be looked out for, simply saying to someone "I don't really like your hairstyle" shouldn't earn a student a stay in detention hall.
Unfortunately, it's getting to the point where a student can't express a difference of opinion without being accused of harassment and emotional abuse.
This isn't at all to say that bullying isn't a problem or that these programs should be removed entirely. School boards just need to take a step back and think about other ways to go about keeping their students safer, because what they're doing now isn't working enough.
Mifflinburg Area High School