Skip to comments.Joe Soucheray: Do kids really need to be monitored like hothouse orchids to prevent bullying?
Posted on 05/09/2013 4:11:53 AM PDT by rhema
What the young learners have in store for them in the future is anybody's guess. Legislators wish to create something called a "school climate center," which sounds meteorological, but would be, instead, a command center to fight bullying.
Fight bullying? It sounds like no fighting in the war room, from "Dr. Strangelove."
Bullying is a bad thing, and I imagine teachers and administrators and even the kids know it when they see it. But that isn't enough. It is apparently painful to DFLers -- all of whom passed the new anti-bullying measure in the House -- that Minnesota's anti-bullying law is only 37 words. Such restrained lawmaking can never do when there is so much new air that can be blown into the thing. The new law would include additional reporting of bullying, training and other requirements administered through the new school climate center.
I don't know what that means and neither do the proponents, chief among them Rep. Jim Davnie, DFL-Minneapolis. The Senate took up the measure Tuesday, May 7. Maybe it will become law and maybe it won't. It is unfunded, but that means only for now. Money would have to be found to create and staff the school climate center. Money would have to be found to train teachers and administrators. To investigate all formal complaints of bullying couldn't come cheap. Whole new divisions of bureaucrats would have to be hired.
The bill calls for $1 million to set up the school climate center run by the state Education Department. And an analysis by the Minnesota Management and Budget office estimates that it will cost school districts $20 million a year to implement the new policies, which have yet to be invented.
OK. Some kid bangs another kid up against a locker and punches him in the stomach for wearing a purple shirt to school. That's bullying. You don't need a new policy for that. Or, every day some little guy, just for being little, gets conked over the head with an algebra book by a lineman on the football team. Don't need a new policy for that.
I would imagine that much of the concern compelling the proposed new law is manufactured on behalf of kids struggling with sexual identity issues. They should not be bullied, and five will get you 10 that teachers are already alert to that dynamic. Proponents of the new measure say that not enough is being done, thus the need for new programs, administered by a central office, created out of whole cloth.
Which can only mean that new programs are intended to be put in place to monitor the kids like hothouse orchids. What they say, think and feel, much less what they might express physically, will have to pass the muster of the school climate center. I don't think I am exaggerating. The ramifications are problematic, at best. Is it bullying if a guy cancels out on a prom date at the last minute? Is it bullying if a student pipes up in class that he or she is in favor of conventional marriage? That could hurt somebody's feelings. Would hurt feelings constitute bullying?
And if hurt feelings constitute bullying, then it stands to reason that the school climate center -- I'm seeing a NASA space launch-type room with computers and television monitors -- would have to send out an agent for perhaps some bureaucratically approved indoctrination.
It all comes under the rubric of being careful what you wish for. This kind of proposal seems to suggest that the kids will be taught by bureaucrats what they can think, feel and even say in order for those thoughts, feelings and speech to fall within the guidelines established by the state.
Only those who believe they can control the future behavior of living, thinking organisms think this way. One of the cardinal rules of research on living creatures is that no matter how many controls one places on the study, the organism will do as it d*mn well pleases.
There was a high school in the 1950’s in New York, where the athletes with letters considered themselves to have responsibility instead of license; where lunchtime meant that one had lunch, not a food fight; where people shook hands when they greeted each other; where going from one class to another was not an opportunity to vent and act out; where teachers taught and did not indoctrinate; where bullies were subjected to scorn and ridicule by the athletes with letters and a bullies’ parents did not come to school fuming that their child was being oppressed and where it was OK to be American and where there was a such thing as American ideals.
Nowadays the Founding Fathers are considered evil,
Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, Josef Stalin and Vladimir Lenin are the new heroes, multiculturalism is a virtue, the people who stood up to the likes of Adolph Hitler, Ho Chi Minh and other murdering revolutionaries are now judged to be possible domestic terrorists who are knuckle-dragging, bible-thumping, gun-loving, Christian morons.
Too bad they weren’t taught....sticks & stones.
They need to be treated with fairness by adults who are unafraid to be in charge, modeling heroic virtue.
And they need to be allowed to settle their differences, vent about stupid teachers and the very bad behaving ones need to get expelled or wish they had been.
No need to go back in time. These are classic concepts.
Oh, they need to be taught classic literature - Homer, Shakespeare, Herodotus, Austen and Twain.
It happens in every company and organization that I have been in.
For guys it is part of figuring out the pecking order.
The trick is to learn how to handle it. In high school, it was stuffing the bully in a locker (he chose his target rather poorly). At times it was ignoring it. At times it was turning the mockery and sarcasm back on the guy.
At work, it is harder, but you either deal with it or leave. Most companies have at least one a hole in management that gets off on making other people squirm.
It is part of life. And we are not doing these kids any favors by pretending that all things upsetting can be forced away.
It was over 50 years ago,but there were mean girls in my HS.
Looking back, they were trying to protect the status of their little group and, by extension, their own.
It was more subtle than with boys. Starting rumors. Making catty comments. Setting up the outsider on a blind date from hell. Making phone calls to undermine the confidence of the chosen victim. Then, making sure the moms and the teachers only saw them being sweet and innocent.
30-odd years after the fact, one of these banes of my teenage years visited my mother. After being apprised of my life from HS to that point, the former mean girl said:”I wish I had been nicer to her.” Mom asked me what that meant. I explained. Mom said: “Why didn’t you tell me?” Well, I had and had been told to ignore it and not make that person important, advice that I had followed. What was a big deal to a 15-year-old had been forgettable to Mom. Today’s mothers make a Federal case out of it and now there has to be an official school bureaucracy to deal with the normal sorting out that happens among adolescents. Kids live in their own world. Institutionalizing the reaction to that world will likely drive the behavior even further underground and the mean kids will become more secretive, but remain mean.
Growing up is the best revenge. I hope the bullies all cringe at their former behavior, but sadly, they are probably still consumed with misplaced competitive anxiety and only wish they had chosen a different victim when their object ends up in some more enviable position in life.
Too bad we can’t have that sort of perspective in HS.
Kick a bully's ass for FREE DAY at school is what's needed!
Ralphie finally had enough!
Sorry; but there are none of these left.
EVERYONE from the Principle on down is AFRAID of something!
CYA is the order of the day.
Seems? This is exactly what this proposal is for. It has nothing to do with "bullying". This is brainwashing straight out of a North Korean prison camp.
The last thing anyone needs is for their children to be influenced by today’s “educators”. Sheesh...if they were any good they would have chosen some other “profession”.
The other 10% is a coalition of fat kids, gingers, and stutterers.
Anti-anti-bullying has got to one of the dumbest things that conservatives have picked up. There is no reason, whatever, for schools — attendance at which is compelled by the government — to tolerate physical or verbal attacks that would result in any adult being immediately fired, or if perpetrated by a boss who can’t be fired, being sued into the ground, expelled from a club, disfellowshiped from a church, etc. etc.
A defense of bullying as something natural or unavoidable fails to comprehend the maleability of anti-social behavior. People used to feel comfortable driving drunk and beating their wives, too — but now only scumbags do either, and at very great risk of legal and communal disapprobation.
First of all, good post and love the tagline.
Secondly, when he was a kid, my father was ‘bullied’ by some kids in his neighborhood. His stepdad’s response? Go back to the leader’s house and ask him if he wants to fight.
My dad did, the boy didn’t and that was the end of it!
Years later, in a hilarious turn of events, a girl in my middle school asked ME if I wanted to fight (picture a very shy 13 year old girl). My dad told me, next time she asks for a fight, tell her it wouldn’t be worth your while. I did and the girl never bothered me again.
Kids need to be taught to respond properly to bullying. Of course that is apt to get them and their parents arrested and publicly vilified. I was a slight kid with a severe bully problem in the 50s and fixed my own problem with that bully when I was 9. I would have been in Juvy for assault and battery with hate crime enhancements were the current politically correct sensibilities applicable then. Back then, I was told I probably should have relied on the adults to fix it and to not hit people, especially not that way, it’s not nice. Dad said Good show,” and left it at that.
What’s pathetic is that protecting kids from bullying leaves them open, unprepared to deal with bullying in the job market and in adult life. I wonder how many jobless 20-somethings don’t work because people at work “hurt their feelings.” I once had a bat-$hit crazy boss who drove one guy to suicide, another into the madhouse, recommended we all be fired, and kept for herself all the money that was to be given to us as bonuses. The company protected her, of course. How can some hothouse flower deal with such a situation?
We had to move away from the small district my wife went to school in back in the day for jobs when my last two kids at home were in 7th and 4th grade. we knew everyone in town.
My daughter had a terrible run with bullies starting her 7th grade year as soon as we arrived to this was a “nice” middle/upper class school district. I don’t mean just name calling. The usual name calling, tacit physical aggression when nobody was watching. Teachers told he to “ignore it” or suck it up. She could not fight back and she should NOT have to.
We lived on the boundary of another district that was supposedly better and changed schools. Facebook and cell phones helped the bullies notify their scumbag friends at the new school about our daughter. One of the bullies got suspended from the first school and guess what?... she ended up at the school we moved to. It took one week for it all to start again. They urinated on her clothes during gym, pushed her around, pull chairs from under her while sitting, broke her band instrument, started rumors about her, and finally escalated to several beating her up when my daughter started to try and stand her ground. We found out that some teachers saw it going on in the halls and did nothing. I hate public school teachers, they are cowards. Flame me all you want this is one absolute I feel is pretty close to 100% true.
After several conferences with no action I made a statement in the principal’s office that I needed contact info for the criminals parents and I would handle it myself. The principal called the police on me for making threats. I told the officer it was not a threat I will get satisfaction one way or the other. He chuckled and we had a good conversation about how bad the school actually was and that the school rarely called them because they did not want the “bad” press to stain their image because we are seeing economic growth (Texas).
We complained the whole time and the school did nothing. One assistant principal and a football coach tried to intervene but were told it wasn’t a big deal and to stand down that my daughter needed to handle it. Kids that tried to aid my daughter were threatened with disciplined for being aggressive (zero tolerance) because bullies are smart about when to be victims themselves to hide their criminal behavior and some of those good kids were then targeted themselves when alone. Finally two of the criminals were charged after we went to the county attorney. They both did one week in alternative school. Big woo?!
We finally pulled our last two kids at home out of public skrewl and put them in private Christian school. A complete 180 and my daughter is flourishing. I cannot retire now for a few more years but it kept me from going to prison for murder/assault.
Death to public schools, a plague on all who support them. I hate them as much as I do Nobama.
The bullies were both low life mexican trash and the white trash that hung with them and a couple upper scale kids. Parents were trash as well and basically totally detached from their kids lives.
Call me jaded. I have already made it clear to my children that none of my grandkids better set foot in a public school.