Across different societies, bullying has become an issue both at school and in homes over the last two decades so much that there is a need for the enactment of anti-bullying legislations. For antiquity, the public education system has aimed to serve as a firm foundation for the information age by providing quality education to all students in an orderly, caring, and safe environment. As indicated by Fox et al. (2003), there are three characteristics of bullying that classify it as a crime. Firstly, a bully’s intent is to cause harm to another. Secondly, bullying cases are mostly repeated offenses, and lastly bullying is considered a perceived power over another that leading to a violation of freedom rights. From the first part of the study, the advocacy campaign presented is in two parts the first being the enactment of a legislation into law through the US Department of Education. The second will be a social program that is set to increase the awareness of bullying through mass media particularly through social media outlets such as Facebook and YouTube. From the two policies, it is clear that the enactment of an anti-bullying bill into law is much complicated and needs considerable attention. Developing a brand new legislation may be complex thus for the sake of authenticity and practicality, the legislation presented will be an improvement of the anti-bullying bill used in the State of Florida.
A decade ago, the state of Florida joined other states in enacting into legislation a regulation that was set to prevent and handle bullying in schools. Florida Statute 1006.147 states that bullying and other forms of harassment amongst teenagers and adolescents in schools is prohibited and is punishable by the law (Hayward, 2011). As a result, bullying became a zero tolerance offence across the state. Nevertheless, from the first study conducted in this topic, it became clear that bullying needs a multifaceted approach that requires the input of teachers, parents, students, as well as other parties in the community such as administrators. In order to have a successful policy that best combats bullying, schools need to identify specific behaviors that can used to develop a homogenous regulation that can work within the laws of the land (Borgwald & Theixos, 2013). From experience, some schools underemphasize bullying incidents in order to improve their own image. It is significant to have in mind that the bullying regulations placed in Florida are set to not only protect the students but also the school employees.
The Three-Legged Stool of Lobbying
As indicated by Milstead (2016), three elements are involved in lobbying namely the professional, the grassroots, as well as the political legs. The first leg comes from the direct efforts executed by professionals. In order to be effective, lobbyists are expected to cultivate a healthy and credible rapport with the legislators as well as their colleagues from other different fields or professions. That is, when developing advocacy campaigns such as the one presented in the first part of this study, the role played by professional lobbyists cannot be over-stated. According to Milstead (2016), “The American Nurses Association reported spending $347,122,500” an expenditure that is used to employ the service of half a dozen lobbyists (46). Throughout the manuscript, Milstead emphasizes the need for nurses to join professional associations to support their lobbying efforts, for instance, Nurses on Boards Coalition. Nurses on Boards Coalition allows nurses to achieve the goals of improved health as well as efficient and effective health care structures at the local, state, plus national levels. School districts across the United States use various types of legislations when creating and implementing policies, including dealings for constitutional, statutory, regulation, and case laws (Fox, et al, 2003). Therefore, becoming a fully certified member of the American Nurses Association (ANA) or any local nursing organization recognized by Nurses on Boards Coalition is the first step of ensuring the success of my advocacy campaign.
The second element is the grassroots lobbying. This process involves rallying individuals in the society to champion for a singular course. Liaising with technocrats as well as other knowledgeable individuals regarding the dangers as well as prevention of bullying amongst teenagers and adolescents within the community is a clear asset. Grassroots lobbying has the ability to take the shape of “in-person visits, personally written letters, fax messages, phone calls, and emails” (Milstead, 2016. p. 51). Milstead emphasized on the significance of having both the willingness as well as the patience to make compromises as a vital part of the grassroots lobbyist. To guarantee success, I will liaise with the local Public Health Department, parents, school policymakers, as well as community action plan advocates. This will provide me with the much-needed backup that would push the legislators in the House of Representatives to see the importance of this new legislation.
The third and last leg of lobbying is the political phase. This section of lobbying deals with the finances that are spent throughout the legislative journey, which can be extensively costly. Money, particularly during election times, plays a vital role in ensuring the re-election of lawmakers that support a common interest. As presented by Milstead (2016), overlooking the financial aspect of an advocacy campaign such as that presented in the first part of the study is detrimental. Milstead (2016), states that Political Action Committees (PACs) that are established by associations have the ability to endorse policymakers who support interest similar to their own while observing particular stipulations. These endorsements are at times made in monetary form or by merely setting up publicity platforms. Moving forward, I will offer my full support to the American Nurses Association (ANA) in their fundraising as well as endowment decisions.
Summary of Anticipated Obstacles
A significant stumbling block may come in the form of the comprehension of the ethical legislations that are related to lobbying. Nevertheless, I employ the use of the American Nurses Association to educate myself on such issues. Another hurdle will be gathering the constituents at the grassroots who are interested in rallying their support for the development of an anti-bullying law. I will work around this challenge by allowing every person to know that children, brothers, sisters, or friends are in need of their protection building on a promise of a better future as long as the bill is passed into law. I will also make sure to include my experience at school to raise the stakes making the massage more compelling (Milstead, 2016). A lack of finances is an obvious deterrent to having the right individuals championing for the legislation. However, supporting state as well as national nursing organizations in their fundraising as well as their endorsement efforts may aid in my quest.
Bullying is a growing menace within the society and it needs to be dealt with swiftly and permanently. I propose a law that allows the bullies to be taken to rehabilitation centers for social adjustment. Additionally, I propose for the use of media as a tool to sensitize all stakeholders. In the paper, I have discussed how I plan to lobby the ideas into law using the three legs of lobbying and though I may face some obstacles I believe that this is the way forward.
Borgwald, K., & Theixos, H. (2013). Bullying the bully: Why zero-tolerance policies get a failing grade. Social Influence, 8(2-3), 149-160.
Fox, J. A., Elliott, D. S., Kerlikowske, R. G., Newman, S. A., & Christeson, W. (2003). Bullying prevention is crime prevention. Washington, DC: Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.
Hayward, J. O. (2011). Anti-cyber bullying statutes: Threat to student free speech. Clev. St. L. Rev., 59, 85.
Milstead, J. A. (2016). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.