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DISCUSS: How Do You Define Bullying?

Based on the comments we’ve received so far on the bullying incident, how should one determine the difference between harassment and rough play?

Over the last few days, Patch has received dozens of comments regarding the .

Majority of the readers agreed that it was poor judgment on seasoned teacher and wrestling coach John Rosi to have allowed the activity in his class. However, there were some disagreements on whether actual bullying occurred.

One reader MJ said: “Holding a chair over another student face and standing on his legs while he screams for you to get off is not horseplay. This was a dangerous situation, and the young man could have asphyxiated.”

Another reader Gretchen also wrote: “This is horrendous. Any kind of mistreatment of a person of a group or organization could be labeled a 'hate crime', mistreatment of animals is punishable by law. So why is bullying of a peer in school considered 'blowing off steam'?”

On the other hand, some readers had a different view.

GHMom said: “I know the boy involved and have witnessed his interactions with other kids. From my heart of hearts, I believe that he was a willing participant in what was going on in this video and routinely instigated and engaged in similar “horseplay”".

Another reader, Janine, wrote: “The child instigated the “horse play” and was not initially bullied or harmed by the incident in any way. It was not a wise choice for the teacher to allow the “horse play”or to participate but it however it only lasted a few minutes, at the beginning of class, then Mr. Rosi restored order and the students did their work. No one was traumatized.“

Readers, tell us what you think: How do you define bullying?

Mark Cockerill September 01, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Teachers are a portal in which to view the world and help them determine how they should behave and how they should view other people. I do not care if this was rough play, bullying, harasement or hazing. It was the wrong thing to do and the wrong thing to allow by the teacher. When a teacher lets this kind of behavior go on then the logical conclusion for the kids is that it is OK what they are doing. If you will, the hook has been set. This teacher blew it and lord knows what kind of emotional trauma he has caused to the child who was attacked and what sort of mind set he has created in the attackers. This is no time for a slap on the wrist. The teacher needs to know he did the wrong thing. The students need to see by the schools action to the teacher that it was the wrong thing and that their are consequences to bad behavior. Everyone is old enough to get that message. So, I am not sayting fire him or take away his license but the punishment has to be more that a "PAID" leave of absense. At a minimum he should apologize to the harassed student, his family, the class where this occured and to the whole student body. How else will the students know that it was the wrong thing to do, if the person who allowed it to happen does not stand up to his inapropriate behavior.
charlotte September 02, 2012 at 04:05 AM
dont use a non legal term. call it by what it really is assault/battery because if taken to court that is what would be charged.
GigHarborRes September 02, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Bullying is a life threatening crime. It causes suicides and mental illnesses in both the attacker and the victim. Nowhere in our student's handbooks does it state that horseplay is tolerated. Speaking as an adult who attended violent schools, these so called role models need to come to terms with the reality of what's happened in this school. What happened can't be changed. How these adults handle the situation is all that is left. I hope they do right by the community and see to it their teachers and students are educated on how to be safe. I agree with the comment that states to call it what it is. Bulying is a little childs word. These kids are old enough to understand what assault and battery are. Of course they also need guidance and supervision from trustworthy and capable adults. More children will leave the brick and mortor public school system this year by the thousands. This is the very reason. Parents and students are losing faith in the public school systems ability to keep our children safe. These students will start school this year with a problem and tension in the air that should have been addressed in a responsible time frame. So far, I see no instances of accountability. It is all just so very sad, and must be rectified. I don't doubt that many may feel fondly toward Rosi, but that does NOT make up for his incompetence in this matter.

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