Amanda Todd’s mother is a teacher. As a university professor I worked with teachers for over 30 years. My experience in talking with them about disciplining students in their classes who act aggressively or in a mean way is that the teachers simply refuse to think about the problem and refuse to do anything about it.
Teachers are trained to “value” all students and are quite unable to make any judgments about the students they teach. In practice, what this means is that the meanest student in the classroom rules that room. The teacher simply smiles and refuses to acknowledge that there is any problem for the other students.
Amanda’s mother simply carried her refusal to act in the classroom setting to her own home. Apparently she allowed her daughter to continue frequenting web sites and posting on them. I believe this is what some psychologists have described as a “bystander” phenomenon. People look at evil being done and they do nothing about it.
I suspect that the sudden new programs on bullying will have no effect or only a temporary effect because the problem of teachers–persons in authority–is that the teachers refuse to take on responsibility. A refusal to assume responsibility for what is occurring in one’s environment seems to me to be a trait of the generation that Amanda’s mother belongs to.
The lack of responsibility and the inaction seem to go together.
Filed under: Society & human issues