Zero tolerance towards bullying in schools one of the ‘biggest debates’ so far 4th November 2011

Citizenship Education  |  Our minds matter  |  Political education and voting age  |  Zero tolerance towards bullying

Zero tolerance towards bullying in schools was one of the biggest debates so far.

David Crone (for) made the point that hostility is not inherited and that antagonism is not genetic. “Equality can only be attained through education, and repetition of the problem can only be prevented through rehabilitation.” What may seem like drastic measures makes a lot of sense in a metaphorical way. David believes that if there is a zero tolerance on the streets of our county enforced by the law, then this should be applied in schools.  David spoke passionately about this topic. He ended well, explaining that 170,000 young people are truanting from school every day from the fear of bullying. This is something that needs to be addressed now.

Xavier Cohen (against) said that bullying is something that has, is and always will be a serious issue. But doesn’t believe it is something that is a realistic goal to work on. “Schools in Scotland are strongly recommended to have an anti-bullying policy where as in the rest of the UK it is the law.” Since this is already something being addressed we shouldn’t try and throw in more of time to this matter. He also said, “The root cause of this issue is sadly far too deeply ingrained in society for UKYP to make any impact.” Like David, he spoke passionately and honestly. He made some interesting points and ended strongly.

Some people made points about Xavier’s speech. They said that if we don’t try to do something then we are letting our constituents down by giving up at the first hurdle. Members of Youth Parliament also felt that it affected people’s performance and ability at school which would affect their futures, which of course is something we cannot stand for.

Robert Littleton closed the debate. He spoke about how bullying, as well known, is a terrible practice and should never be tolerated. He said, “We are looking at a motion that calls for a reform of the way that we deal with bullying.” However, he said that, “There are a number of anti-bullying laws already in place to confront the issue – how much more can we do?” He also commented on how we can make a difference regardless of how big the change is. “Weigh up both sides of the argument” he said. He ended strongly, creating some ‘food for thought’.

The motion was debated well; both sides of the argument had valid points and certainly left people thinking.

Sam Cantlon, DMYP Swindon
South West media Rep
Colson Smith, DMYP Five Towns
Yorkshire & Humber Media Rep