Commentary: May Institute’s Chief Clinical Officer Responds to Anti-bullying Legislation


The following commentary is a response to the article, “Patrick signs sweeping anti-bullying law.” The article was printed in the Boston Globe on May 3, 2010.


We applaud the state legislature and Governor for working together to sign into law a comprehensive measure to aggressively address school bullying across the Commonwealth. This legislation will undoubtedly help prevent bullying and provide a formidable legal “voice” for those who continue to endure this kind of emotional and physical harm. However, the work doesn’t begin and end in the classroom.

The anti-bullying law, with its reporting mandates, penalties, and required training for faculty and students, should be a powerful deterrent. But it is important for all of us to remind ourselves that our children do not live in a vacuum. Every environment in which young people engage – be it school, home, the baseball field, shopping mall, movie theater, camp, neighborhood hangouts, Internet, etc. – influences the development of their character and social skills.

Good, bad or indifferent, the behaviors and values students adopt are largely formed by what they observe, absorb, and learn from others in their day-to-day, direct and indirect experiences.

While the circumstances that brought this issue to the forefront are indescribably tragic, hopefully the response is inspiring more thoughtful, candid dialogue across the community on the importance of respect, tolerance, and responsibility in and out of the classroom.

Lauren C. Solotar, Ph.D.
Chief Clinical Officer
May Institute

Facebook Twitter LinekdIn YouTube Flickr Issuu


May Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, sex/gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, marital status, socioeconomic status, homelessness, or any other category protected under applicable law in treatment or employment at the Institute, admission or access to the Institute, or any other aspect of the educational programs and activities that the Institute operates. The Institute is required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (Age Act), and their respective implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Parts 100, 104, 106 and 110, not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin (Title VI); disability (Section 504); sex (Title IX); or age (Age Act). Inquiries concerning the application of each of these statutes and their implementing regulations to the Institute may be referred to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, at (617) 289-0111 or 5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02109-3921, or to Terese Brennan - Compliance Officer, at 1-888-664-9870 or or May Institute 14 Pacella Park Drive, Randolph, MA 02368.