An A+ In Fantasy & Gibberish

From Seacoast Online (

Brianna Hartford, a sophomore at Littleton High School, sees change in New Hampshire schools. She sees all students being welcome, their differences embraced and accepted, and every student has friends and a sense of belonging.

Okay.  She’s a kid.  A hopeful, trusting, idealistic kid.  I get it.

“Bullying is an issue that undoubtedly exists in every school, but with awareness, effective policies and communication among educators, parents and students, it is an issue that is far from being unpreventable,” said Hartford, the student representative for Bully Free NH.

And she’s bright, too.  Sure can put together a string of words.  Probably has a good future ahead of her in politics.  She wants to make a positive difference. So I understand where she’s coming from.

And I also understand the motives of state Reps. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), and Nancy Stiles ( R-Hampton).  They’re co-sponsoring House Bill 1543- comprehensive legislation that defines various forms of bullying and cyber-bullying,  mandates policies forbidding harassment, intimidation, etc,  establishes programs for student awareness, staff training, and reporting procedures.

It all sounds very impressive.  Anything this thorough (convoluted?) has got to work, right?  After all, every state that has instituted anti-bully laws  (43 as of this posting) has solved the problem. All across the country, children are holding hands and singing together in harmony. Everyone has put aside their differences and now respects one another.

Oh, that hasn’t happened?  Wait – it’s never happened?

So why would elected officials spend so much time and tax payer money on passing laws and creating programs that do not (and can not) work?  I can think of a few reasons.

  • Its popular! An easy flag to rally around.  After all, no one is in favor of bullying, are they?
  • It makes them look busy! We sent them to Washington to do something, right?  Forget about working to solve real problems – that’s hard, and besides, for every tough choice made, some voters will get angry.
  • It’s lucrative! Mandates require funding- so they can generate money by raising taxes!  Don’t want your taxes to go up?  Hey, wassa madda with you- are you some kind of pro-bully cheapskate?

A starry eyed child who wants to heal the world is innocent, naive and beautiful.

Adults should know better.

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