The 2001 report, Hostile Hallways: Bullying, Teasing and Harassment, summarized the results of a survey of public school students. The survey tried to determine how physical and nonphysical harassment in schools affects students' lives. The report found that harassment happens often, occurs right under teachers' noses, can begin in elementary school, and upsets both girls and boys. The survey found that four out of five students experienced some form of harassment, and roughly one out of five students feared being hurt by someone in their school. Girls and boys both reported that harassment made them feel embarrassed, self-conscious, and less confident. Harassed students said they talked less in class and found it hard to pay attention. Students reported changes in their behavior to avoid harassers, including missing school, dropping out of activities and sports, and dropping courses. Girls commented that being harassed made them feel like 'second class citizens.'
Darmody Middle School is having its own 'hostile hallways' problems. It has bullies and no one seems to be able to stop them. Reports include harassment of girls and boys, name calling and threats toward students perceived to be gay, and stealing from and intimidating students physically in the school hallways, in gym and in the cafeteria. Darmody does not have an anti-bullying policy. Last week, the parents of a former student who moved away from Darmody sued the Darmody School Department for deliberate indifference toward their son's cries for help after he complained that kids were beating him up because they thought he was gay.
The problem has gotten so serious that a special Student Council meeting has been convened to try to come up with a plan for solving it. The school's administration has asked you as representatives of the student body to help it come up with a response to the bully problem in the Middle School.