Another “Expert” Explains “The Only Thing That Works”

From the Levittown Tribune:

Trust Him To Protect Your Kid From Bullies?

I’m sure Barry McNamara is a well meaning guy.  He’s  a professor of special education at Dowling College and written a couple of books on bullying and ADD.  He’s right about a lot of things, including the fact that developmentally disabled kids need protection from sadistic peers.  He’s probably a really good guy.

In this article, he lays out his anti-bully philosophy:

“The only thing that works is a school-wide program.” McNamara said. Parents’ actions are ineffective without school action, he said.

That means getting everyone involved.  From the teachers to the bus drivers to the cleaning staff.

He cites a survey by the Department of Justice that claims that between 2003 and 2008, there was a 15% reduction in school bullying. They attribute the trend to anti-bullying programs.

OK.  I call B.S.

First, this blatantly confuses causation with correlation.  Come on, people… take a class in critical thinking.

Second – Government statistics for hard numbers like test scores are notoriously unreliable.  How accurate is a ‘survey’ of hard to quantify behaviors?  Who’s being surveyed?  Who’s in charge of auditing? Is it possible that schools just aren’t filing as many reports so they can keep getting program funding?

Another thing – what about all the bullying that happens off school grounds?  On the bus? At the park? Camp?

Does this expert have any more insights or advice? Well, there are these golden nuggets:

  • Kids should tattle on bullies, because its a “myth” that ratting on a classmate will make things worse. How do you work with kids all day long and remain oblivious to their psychology and culture?
  • Kids should project self-confidence. What’s this act based on? I’ll clue you in to what happens when a kid tries to fake it- they get busted and mocked.
  • There needs to be rules that not only punish bullies, but enforce acts of kindness.  “force” kindness?

Mr. McNamara wants to find a solution to bullying.  I just think that he’s going about it the wrong way.

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2 Comments on “Another “Expert” Explains “The Only Thing That Works””

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Damn, he’s not related to Robert S. McNamara is he? “Do we get to win this time?” to quote Rambo.

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