Deans enforce rules to curb bus bullying

Chronicle Staff

To prevent bullying on the school’s buses, Head of Middle School Ronnie Cazeau announced at an all-school assembly that existing bus rules would now be more strongly enforced. The deans discussed the issue further in class meetings.

In previous years, ninth grade bus riders often told seventh graders where to sit, creating sections between grades on the bus.

Although there has always been a rule against this, this year, the rule is being more strongly emphasized.

“This is not a change, just a clarification,” middle school deans Josh Budde, Jon Wimbish and Paul Mastin wrote in an e-mail.

“Because people were being bullied, we needed to send a clear message to all students as to what the policy is.”

Bus drivers are making sure students behave by handing out detention slips and removing ID cards if they see any problems.

So far, there have been no problems reported.

“[Students have] shown that they’re mature enough to be respectful of one another,” the deans said.

“It was disappointing that some students, the minority, by far, needed to be reminded that bullying is always wrong, but students seem to be following the rules.”

Heidi Chung ’10 disagrees with this policy despite the potential harassment it might prevent.

“I think the policy is not necessary because we’ve been doing the seventh, eighth and ninth grade sections for a long time,” Chung said.

“Right when we become 9th graders, they change it.”

“When I was a seventh grader, I didn’t question what they were doing,” Chung said.

Unlike Chung, Brian Graziano ’12 agrees with the policy because he thinks it will protect the victims of bullying.

“I never had a problem,” Graziano said.

“But there are some kids on the bus that always got pushed around and now they don’t.”

Middle school administrators have felt that bullying on buses is a recurring problem, not just one incident.

Administrators have decided to be “proactive this year rather than reactive,” Graziano said.