In the Jan. 11 article "Bullying ... A Priority for PUSD," school board member Jamie Hintzke is quoted as saying it " is not just doing stuff when it happens, it's how you create an environment where it doesn't happen."
I agree, Ms. Hintzke. Expensive speakers and student handbooks will do nothing in an environment that provides bullying opportunities, like Foothill High School's lunch period.
At Foothill there's one 30-minute lunch period for 2,400 students and seating for 1,000. Students who want a hot lunch realize there is no chance of everyone getting through the line so they, not administration, remedy this by skipping lunch, eating in class, or bringing a cold lunch. However, with less than half the population able to sit down, finding a seat is distressing.
This crowded environment invokes bullying and a student culture conducive to hierarchy, status, class, caste -- feel free to choose the word. Children regularly get bullied at lunch. When I asked an administrator about this he told me that kids don't mind the lack of seating-- many enjoy sitting in the grass. I wonder if he would enjoy eating on the cold ground every day because someone older, bigger or cooler told him he couldn't have a table?
How can we stop bullying with a lunch environment ripe for it? I challenge parents to ask the district why we don't have enough lunch tables or the wherewithal to have two lunch periods. Maybe we're waiting for something serious to happen before we consider this a priority.
Clean up dog poop
What is going on with people and their dogs' poop in our parks? Val Vista Park is littered with dog poop. It makes it very difficult to walk or play in the grass without constantly looking down. My young son had the unfortunate mishap of stepping in a dog poop while playing in the grass.
Dog owners, please pick up your dog's excrement, it is disgusting!
Can we not designate an area for a dog park, and leave the rest of the grass to kids and adults who want to enjoy outdoor fun?