Alonso's wrong on punishment for bullies

May 04, 2010

I was deeply distressed to read that Baltimore schools CEO Andrés Alonso does not support suspensions for bullying ("Alonso wouldn't suspend bullies," May 4).

Bullying is violent behavior and must not be tolerated. Without consequences I do not believe the behavior will change. We are quick to adopt so-called "no tolerance" for many other things. Bullying is violence, and the consequences, as we are seeing, can be just as devastating as the presence of weapons or drugs.

Our schools must be zones of no violence. I agree that the community, the family and all of us have critical roles to play. However Mr. Alonso's position on suspensions comes far short of addressing the problem. There cannot be and must no be any tolerance of bullying for it is violence against another human person.

The Right Rev. John L. Rabb, Baltimore

The writer is Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

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