In our Patch poll last week, we asked Patch readers, are schools doing enough to stop hazing, bullying?
Eight readers, 17 percent of the total votes, voted, yes, the ultimate responsibility falls on the students and their parents, not the schools, as of Dec. 9.
The majority of readers, 39, which was 82 percent of the vote, voted no, schools are too often a breeding ground for this type of behavior.
Readers also discussed the issue in the comment section, where, as of Dec. 9, 79 comments were posted. Here is a roundup of some of what readers wrote in the comment section.
GuitarMan: Our community is at fault, just as much as schools are. We shrink from telling others they are disrespectful to others, and create a standard, bullying, that is unclear at best, and a diversion from the truth; a lack of basic mutual respect for others, from others.
victoria smith: This was not hazing, it was sexual assault. These students who participated in this should be punished to the max. What are the coaches doing about this? Not much of anything, which makes me believe that they are just as sick-minded as the students who performed these acts! I know that when you are on a sports team, the team all sticks together, but I can't believe that if this was done out in the open on a run, that other teammates wouldn't have tried to put a stop to this.
Bob G: Let us not forget that a parent has a role in his child's schooling too. Keeping open communication lines with them is invaluable. These kinds of things should not be allowed to happen. … Remember it was other kids that are actually doing the hazing. They should have known better too. Talk to your kids. Surely someone knew about this long before, years before the lawsuit lottery started.
Craig Apelbaum: Schools don`t do enough to stop hazing or bullying. Whether it`s youth bullying youth. Or youth bullying adults (staff).
Mary Beth: Children need protection from those who wish to harm them, whether at school or in the community. The school system's primary purpose beyond education is to keep the child safe. Some schools do a better job than others in dealing with bullying, hazing and promoting respect and tolerance. While teachers also need to be protected from false allegations made by disgruntled students; every allegation must be investigated. The atmosphere of the school must be focused on respect for all.
cynthia: When we don't allow our children to face issues themselves we take away their self-respect and confidence. We are here to guide them and teach them not to do the talking for them.
My Self: Since today my sister went to a wake for a child who killed himself over bullying at school, I would say no. The school was informed and the parents asked the school to help. They did nothing.
Molly: The crime that occurred at Maine West was done by a group of thugs and should be punished as such. If school employees knew of this crime and did nothing they also should be jailed.
Bree Olson: Schools are doing too much. Let the kids fight it out. That’s how problems are solved and lessons are learned.
Brian: It shouldn't have to always fall on the schools, but this macho mentality needs to have a line somewhere. No one should be raped in school... ever. This isn't even about bullies in the strict sense. It is about teammates.