A recent news story involving the NJ Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, the Council on Local Mandates and a school district in Warren County in New Jersey caught my attention. After reviewing related articles, are New Jersey school administrators missing out on a significant teachable opportunity?
The Council on Local Mandates voted 7-2 that the New Jersey state law regarding anti-bullying must be amended because it includes an unfunded mandate for local school districts. Is this really the message school administrators want to send to their students about doing the right thing? Are these school leaders saying student safety and anti-bullying issues are not going to be addressed unless they get more funding?
The school district said that it would cost them $6,000 to train educators – with more costs in the future. Apparently the administration of this school district would be using status quo training approaches, because $6,000 is very expensive. Status quo mass training approaches are clearly not helping school administrators prevent bullying, as alarming incidents continue to mount around the globe.
In another related article, school administrators said the law is creating more paperwork, investigations and meetings.
The NJ Anti-Bullying law does not create more paperwork, more investigations or more meetings…the status quo approaches do. The NJ law provides school leaders with guidance and a blueprint they can use to prevent bullying and related consequences more effectively.
Unfortunately, these NJ school administrators missed a great opportunity to use the new anti-bullying law to create teachable moment in innovation and entrepreneurship. For example, wouldn’t it make more sense for school administrators to gather ideas for reforming expensive, status quo, labor-intensive, paper-based and ineffective 20th century approaches? Or school administrators could have explored success stories from innovative school leaders that could help reduce costs and equip their school to prevent bullying?
I have always been very passionate about student safety, and without a “funded mandate” we began studying failures and lessons learned, and then began developing tools to eliminate those gaps and disconnects that were showing up in schools over and over and over. I am proud to say we are helping schools save lives, save money, save time, save reputations and save resources and we did it without a “funded mandate”.
We also compiled the results of our research so we can share our findings with school administrators that do not have the time and resources to do their own research. If you would to review one of our executive briefings from our research, click here.