Stand & Startles

The specific problem in this issue is that there are not enough policies regarding consequences for bullies in Mecklenburg County Public School Systems. The word “bully” or anything resembling that word only occurs once in all 400 pages of the Mecklenburg County Public School System handbook.

A controversial aspect of this issue are on multiple levels. From inside personal conversations some parents are worried that if the schools “buckle down” on the bullying policy that they will over-react to small issues and cause more problem. Then some parents were thinking that it was a great idea. As one would assume, the parents who were for this policy change are parents whose children are being bullied in school. While the parents who feel like this policy change would just cause more issue are usually parents who have children with no issue with bullying or children who are the bully and have enough on their hands as is. Another controversial issue would be with the policy writers. Living in a very small town they do not care much for change. Convincing them that this is an issue and some well thought out change should be in process. The final bit of controversy, is death. Although, my issue is based on policy change the most controversial issue is what leads up to the need for policy change. Many cases of bullying lead to suicide. The teens who are being bullied feel like there is no other reason to stay; and more and more teen bullies are getting away with this crime.

There are multiple organizations to try advocate for anti-bullying. Some of these organizations include but are not limited to: stopbullying.gov and the National Bullying Prevention Center. There are not many research numbers involving Bluestone High School alone. Yet, there is some research regarding national averages on bullying, outcomes, and other statistics. Many claims are valid given information regarding police reports, investigation reports, and death certificates. The issue is bullying inside school systems, the problem is the policy regarding consequences against bullying inside Bluestone Senior High School. Many stakeholders, including: parents, board members, students, and school staff. Regarding Bluestone High School, the history of the issue usually ends up as fights during school hours resulting in injuries, suspensions, and social issues among students; as if their are not enough. The issue of bullying will never die. It is in human nature to belittle others who are different. Although, I firmly believe that although the specific problem may never be able to die off, the consequences of the issue could be more severe with hopes that the issue will start to lower in instances.

I feel like those with hopes to rid bullying in its entirety works about as well as the 18th Amendment.

Why bans and restrictions don't work fully.

To support my final sentence.

 

Stakeholders on Bullying

Stakeholders in this situation would be various people. Depending on the view or angle one decides to come in at. In my case I am coming in on a policy angle. I am more focused on stakeholders such as committee boards, the principle, teachers, and parents. The students are the main concern. So, why are they not one of my stakeholders? I believe that in order to change a behavior you must start with the influences that focus that behavior. In this case, school guidelines and outside influences are going to have a larger impact than simply lecturing these students on bullying.

Interests in this subject is myself, a positive influence; as well as others. There are positive and negative influences, such as the board committee not wanting to have to use the time to re-write the policy handbook. Whereas teachers feel like they have enough on their plates as is. The principle, feels as if, he is doing the best he can although, not all things can be prevented. I feel like everyone WANTS to be invested, because deep down they know that it is an issue and needs to be addressed however they feel as if there is nothing that they can really do about it and that they should focus their time and energy on something else.

Unfortunately, this issue is much more than just policy being changed. It needs to be enforced; not only in the school environment but also in the home environment. If people such as the board committee or the school personnel feel like that is the source of the issue then their vested interest may not carry far due to the fact that they feel like there is not much that they can do.

A commonplace within the audience I am trying to address is agenda. Most of the persons on this committee have other full time jobs, families, social lives, or other pre-prioritized things. I feel like hitting an emotional level would be my best advancement. They already know the statistics, the information, the current policies, but the board members are not necessarily in the school systems everyday.  Many of them have or have had children in this particular school system. I feel like reiterating situations that perhaps a “gateways” around what little policy they have could effect a large population or even effect their credentials as a school system. In such a small town “image is everything” when someone can show them how their policy could ruin their image I feel like that is where it will hit close to home. No board member wants to be recognized as not being able to write and carry good policy, no principle wants to be seen as “not being able to control his students”, as would no teacher want to be seen as a pushover, a horrible teacher, or creating an unsafe learning environment.

In conclusion, this situation has many stakeholders. The stakeholders are on a local level. Combining anyone from a blue collar parent to a “high-sitting” board official. Some voices are spoken while many are quiet. This issue should be address by the “bottom of the totem-pole” or else change will never be met.

Drinking On College Campuses Stakeholders

Drinking in general is a problem that is consistent throughout the United States, and throughout history drinking on college campuses goes hand and hand which involves multiple people and creates multiple problems. While not all college students drink the primary focus is on the students that do and their actions as well as the outcomes. Students are the main stakeholders within this problem because without them drinking on college campuses would not be an issue. Students are affected by this problem because drinking can cause a decrease in academic performance and consequences from their poor decisons/actions.

Presidents are also a stakeholder within this problem because they are affected by the problem of students who drink on campus mainly those who are underaged. The presidents try to limit students drinking by creating rules and regulations to try and prevent these problems from happening. For example multiple colleges have a student handbook which notifies students on their policy of drinking on campus. By creating these rules and regulations presidents and school officials try to reduce the problem of drinking on campus. Another stakeholder involves multiple policy advocates and organizations that try to reduce drinking on college campuses. Organizations such as MADD (Mothers against Drunk Driving) and HEP (Had Enough Project) use their efforts to try and inform and create policies for college students from drinking on campus and attempt to eliminate the problem. Another stakeholder includes beer companies that are focused on or around college campuses. Students that do drink buy from these beer companies and eliminating it would cause a decrease in their profits. Also law enforcement play a role in college drinking. they are affected by this issue because they have to be more cautious for the students that have been drinking for their safety as well as the society’s safety mainly for driving while under the influence.

Stakeholders of Farmville Leasing

Upperclassmen at Longwood University are impacted by this situation, especially those students in the liberal studies program, the nursing program, transfer students, or students who have chosen to study abroad during a Spring or Fall semester. Another stakeholder would be the off campus housing companies. A few popular companies that many students choose to rent through are Walk 2 Campus, Sunchase, Green Properties, and Poplar Forest.

Students who are in the liberal studies or nursing program understand that there is a great chance that they need to go to another city outside of Farmville there last semester senior year and that there are limited leases available to them. Most students end up paying the rent for the extra six months that they aren’t living here because the housing companies don’t allow for six-month contracts.

The housing companies point of the view however is that the University is expanding. There are more and more students that are being admitted and less places to be housed on campus therefore making them move off campus. Because of this, the housing companies feel they don’t need create six month leasing contracts because they will have more students who need yearly contracts in the end. It’s not that the students don’t understand the business side of their decision-making, it would just make the process of going to school and dealing with one more thing a little less complicated than it had to be. In the past, students end up upset or frustrated if the housing companies state that they will find someone to live in that apartment for the next six month and then fail to do so leaving the first set of tenants to pay the rent.

Some of these housing companies have six month leases however their prices are not advertised, nor when students go to ask about them are they made available to college aged students. Many state you must be 26 years old to live there or older, which most students who need these leases aren’t any older than 23.

An idea for the apartment communities would be easy to just extend a six or twelve month contract option, The majority of the time, students will choose the twelve anyway and it wouldn’t be much different. Giving the option for a six-month lease could open more leases with their company and help out a great percentage of students who struggle with this living situation.

Drinking and Learning: College Capuses

The social issue within my proposition is that underage drinking or drinking in general on college campuses is a growing concern, which is affecting multiple students. The stakeholders within this problem include students, teachers/staff, and law enforcement. The controversy of this problem is that children are not aware that the decisions that they make by drinking can cause problems within school or physical problems such as injuries and possibly death. I believe that students mainly underage and first year students are unaware of these problems, and the development of more programs on awareness can help to improve their decisions as well as their academic success.

The History Of College Drinking

Times have changed but some things remain the same; and on college campuses its the presence of alcohol. It is obviously clear that a large number of college students (many underage) develop a pattern of binge drinking and it is widespread throughout multiple college campuses. This has become a growing problem not just on academics but also on student’s health. In the article History of College Drinking On Campus the author explains the history of just a few of fatalities throughout history that has occured on college campuses. One of the fatalities included that a student within a sorority attended a party and died due to alchohol poisoning. According to this article Heavy Drinking Remains a Constant On College Campuses the incidents within college campuses and drinking have been constant for 30 years. The article also states that drinking incidents have occured more often compared to sexual assault and violence. One amazing fact that was displayed was that alcohol trumps facebook, outside jobs and class attendance as a predictive factor in a students academic performance. The steadiness of this problem is better than an increase, but the constance of the negative influences alcohol has brought upon college campuses is not a good thing, and needs to be addressed.

Bullying History in MCPS

As a small rural area, bullying has always been a large issue in Mecklenburg County. It’s bullying is focused more towards children of the homosexual orientation, or with some sort of disability, or if they simply do not “fit in”. Unfortunately, this happens just about anywhere you go. Human nature in this age tends to be in the “survival of the fittest stage” of life. So, in turn if bullying someone else to feel “fit” in their group is what a child feels is necessary then that is what they will do. On most occasions, they are not educated to the knowledge of what consequences can come from these actions.

In recent pasts, Mecklenburg County Public Schools (MCPS from here on out), has verbally enforced its concern with bullying among students although, they do not have much of a consequence system. When students are being bullied within the school grounds it is normally addressed by a lecture by some sort of authority who naturally has no respect from said student. Also, the consequences towards the bully are often times not severe enough to make any sort of impression. The student is normally told to stop and move on. All this teaches the student is that it’s okay to bully someone because you’re not going to get into any real trouble.

The current guidebook for MCPS states:

“The Mecklenburg County School Board shall establish, within its existing programs, a character              education program in its schools, which may occur during the regular school year, during the summer in a  youth development academy offered by the school division, or both…..The program shall also address the inappropriateness of bullying, as defined in the Virginia Code.”

This is the only section in the total of 400 pages that MCPS uses the word bullying/bully in any way. They have a small minute section of their guidelines focusing on “Character Education” but nothing regarding the larger sum of bullying inside or outside the school grounds. In time, I have a meeting with the principle of Bluestone Senior High School, where I will obtain more information on bullying on an individual level as opposed to only knowing the broad spectrum for the whole MCPS system.

Residential Background for Leasing

Longwood University has one of the best programs for future educators in Virginia. The program itself attracts a large portion of the student population to the school. Students in this program are given multiple opportunities to go out into the field in different areas all over the state. In addition, the nursing students at Longwood also complete their clinical in Richmond, Va and have to drive there many times throughout the week. Because of this, a decent amount of students choose to do their placements in a city that is too far away to commute to from Longwood; a reason that the Farmville area needs more six month leases.

Longwood University housing operates in a way that once you live off campus, you’re no longer permitted to live back on campus, however, considering that the school prides themselves with having these wonderful programs, the school doesn’t offer any compatible leases. This becomes one of our main issues. Students want to get their degree, but also want to come out of college with as little debt as possible. This becomes tricky because it costs more to live in an on campus apartment, but this is the only way for students to live in an apartment and pay for it with financial aid. On the contrary, if students want a cheaper rent and decide to go off campus, they have to continue using an off campus apartment the rest of their time at school. Because students typically choose to go off campus, students end up paying for six months of rent where they aren’t even living at and waste their money

Bullying in the Mecklenburg County Public School System

Bullying in the Mecklenburg County Public School System has become a large issue not only for students but for faculty and staff as well. Persons with spiked interest (stakeholders) would be the School Board Committee. They are the ones who propose and produce the policy manual for this school system. The faculty and staff of the individual schools also hold a stakeholder role in these policies as they are the ones who are expected to uphold these policies. Controversy within this topic is merely the fact that policies rarely exist defining this issue. If there are any policies that even mention the word bullying; the policy is too vague to enforce any consequences when the issue arises. This school system needs to update their policy exaggerating this as an issue not only within the school facilities but also as a community effort. The act of bullying can be found physically, mentally, online, in-person, within the community, as well as within the home. The policy needs to be brought to light and exaggerated in a more effective manner in this school system.

Additional Leases in the Farmville Community

For students who realize they need an extra semester to finish school, or for students who leave a semester early for an internship; the Farmville apartment communities don’t offer enough six month leases. Every year there are students in the nursing and teacher preparation program, who are on track to finish their undergraduates on time, that choose to do their placement in another city. With this being so common, students end up wasting their money on an apartment they aren’t living in. Since the school has such a large teaching program it would be nice to have a town support the students by having more compatible apartment leases.