Letters to the Editor

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BULLYING: Practice accepted in many schools

Letter by Colin Guthrie, Puyallup on Aug. 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm with 10 Comments »
August 29, 2012 3:20 pm

Re: “Parents say child bullied by teacher, classmates” (TNT, 8-29).

The response by Peninsula School District in the Kopachuck Middle School bullying incident is very typical.

By definition, bullying is the intimidation, harassment, hounding or oppression of a weaker person – the process of intimidating or mistreating somebody weaker or in a more vulnerable situation. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office is investigating why this incident was not reported to it and Child Protective Services. However, this legal issue typically is not included in the mandatory reporting regulations.

Bullying is not taken seriously, as a societal problem, which is why John Rosi retained his teaching position. It is an acceptable practice to rid society of those people considered different. School systems do not attempt to reduce it because they accept its use. Kids who are bullied often commit suicide or start shooting others as a result of it.

Until we have a firm grasp on bullying, we will continue to see this happening.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    When you have leaders that not only allow bullying but they also play along, the war is lost.

    The only thing now is clean house at the Peninsula School District. Demand the resignation of all involved including the school board.

    I hope the parents sue and win for $50 million or more. The PSD will never change their direction until they have been beat into submission by the parents meateater lawyers.

    That is what it took years ago when they were caught cooking the books and the voters starved them of all funds. We need a repeat of this to force them to change and make the education and protection of kids the priority not the unions they continually cave to.

    I wish the parents the best and will pray for their son. Please sue the PSD to protect other children and for the kids that are now coming out talking about past abuse by teachers.

  2. cclngthr says:

    I remember when the voters completely stopped the levys in Peninsula.

  3. menopaws says:

    We are a society full of bullys……..Politicians yell–they don’t talk anymore, people give rude, obscene gestures while driving their cars, neighbors fight over fence lines, people are just unpleasant to each other on a daily basis…..Where do you think kids learn this stuff?????? the example of the grown-ups they see, including this teacher, probably some parents too…….I had a friend who was a time keeper at a Middle School basketball game for her daughter…….One of the fathers got sooooo angry at the referee—she had to get between them to keep a fight from breaking out…..In front of some young girls……..Really mature sensible behavior to show your kids……..Don’t just blame the teacher—look to some of these parents…..what kind of kid video’s this kind off behavior on a cell phone?

  4. spotted1 says:

    Menopaws, in this case, I believe the teacher is definitely to blame. That being said, you are correct. These children should also be punished to the full extent of the law for participating in the actions as well as taping it and posting them. The behavior comes from what they see and what is accepted as normal. In most schools around, regardless of what Colin says, this is not normal nor accepted behavior. Does it happen, of course it does. We would be foolish to say it doesn’t. Does something this extreme happen often, no, there is a reason this made front page news.

  5. Taxedenough, Just sue them 50 mil, thats your tax money, are you taxed enough or not?

  6. whitecap says:

    Colin…while I find the bullying incident at KMS reprehensible and the punishment for Rosi too light, you have included a couple of statements in your letter that are not true. The first, “It is an acceptable practice to rid society of those people considered different”. What? No it isn’t. Provide an example. Second, “School systems do not attempt to reduce it (bullying )because they accept its use”. No they don’t. Simply not true.

  7. cclngthr says:


    As I see it; not only as a teacher, but also as a person with a difference i.e. a disability, the root cause for bullying is targeting those with a differece and pointing out that difference to make it appear that the person being bullied is defective. If you act differently, yes, you easily become targets.

    Schools do not take a strict hard line against bullying because they often participate in its act. The KMS incident is an example. Nothing was done about the incident except giving students and the teacher a slap on the wrist. Rosi should have faced mandatory firing and his teaching certificate revoked. Under WAC statutes of professional conduct, he violated several sections of that; 1. he allowed himself and others to inappropriately touch the student (we are forbidden by district policy, and state law to touch students); he acted unprofessional by participating in its act, and 3. he refused to stop the act.

  8. cclngthr says:

    Bullying often does not make the front page news because it typically is not as extreme. Subtle bullying often occurs without consequences; i.e. pointing out differences in people and ridiculing that person because of that difference.

  9. letsworkitout says:

    Colin, you cannot take your own personal experiences and use them to extrapolate a system wide pattern. It is a complete falsehood for you to state that schools just accept bullying and move on. I am afraid you are letting your personal bias/past experience affect your objective lens. I understand that you look at this through your own handicap and how people have treated you in the past. It does not mean that all people with a disability are treated the same way.

  10. cclngthr says:


    Too often people with a disability are targeted, which is wrong to do. Same with any other difference; whether behavioral or physical. It is this targeting that is the problem. Rather than viewing the person with a difference as a human, people judge them based off that problem. They feel the person can’t do something.

    I used to be a board member of the City of Tacoma’s disability rights commission, where we looked into civil rights violations that occured within the city, including overseeing what was going on at TPS. It is not just my viewpoint as you claim. It is numerous individuals that interpret the judging similarly as mine. With multiple incidences by multiple people; you have a wider perspective, and when you look at the multiple issues in a system, you will see a system wide issue.

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