Improper jokes can be viewed as bullying

DEAR EDITOR:

I am writing about the “onion” you gave to Warren Safety Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa August 18 about his characterization of a fight that broke out during the Italian-American Heritage Festival as “kids will be kids.”

You criticized his statement by saying “How can we expect our parents and schools to hold children to higher standards if this is the passive attitude of a man who tops the chain of command of Warren Police Department …”

I reacted to the “onion” by saying the same thing about a statement made by Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith’s attorney Matt Blair published June 20 in the Tribune Chronicle about alleged bullying taking place in Smith’s office. Blair said, “There is bantering and joking around. But no one takes it seriously.”

Really? It may be bantering and joking around to those saying it, but it feels like bullying to the person on the receiving end. And this just didn’t happen on the streets of Warren; this is alleged to have happened in the public office of the county engineer.

With regard to Smith and Blair, I repeat your thought, “How can we expect our parents and schools to hold children to higher standards if this is the passive attitude of public servants like Smith and Blair?”

KENDALL LEE STAUFFER

Girard

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