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.
The time frame for this was about 4 months before we pulled them from school.
“For guys it is part of figuring out the pecking order.” HELLO?! Do you think this is something only guys go through? Girls can be more cruel and bitchy than anyone. It’s not easy for anyone — but yes, you have to learn to deal. The problem these days is if some kid fights back there is the politically correct “punish everyone equally” dictum. Used to be if a bully hit first, and the victim attacked back, the victim wouldn’t be punished. Now they want to say that both kids are horrible and deserve official punishment for fighting. A man used to be able to tell his son “if you are hit, hit back.” Now they want to jail the dad for “encouraging” the son. Political correctness gone mad.
We were deathly afraid of her doing something. She was so sad and cried all the time. See used to say, “why do they hate me I don’t even know or talk to them”. It was emasculating as an old fashioned style father (former Corps and LEO) who had to see this and could do nothing for fear or being a bully myself to teen-aged girls. I really was minutes way from beating another parents’ or school administrators’ ass or worse. My wife worked hard to keep me away from the school.
Now she is back to a happy place and all is well. She is an angel. Still has a nightmare occasionally.
My dad grew up in Washington Heights in NYC in the forties. A pretty rough neighborhood and he always gave me good advice.
"If you're being bullied by a group of kids, strike out at the biggest one. The rest will all stay out of it and you'll be down to one. Even if you lose, the others will respect you and stop."
I think I was bullied once in second grade and was never targeted again after that. Girls just don't have those routes to resolution.
Even boys now days are different. With the influx of mexicans and further deterioration of the backs and white teen age culture you are at risk to get stabbed, shot, or beat down either at school or afterwards. There is no more of the old honor thing where you fight one and the rest leave you alone. Now they are vermin and attack in hordes. Just watch some of the school bus videos of late.
A better question: SHOULD we try to prevent bullying? EVERYONE gets bullied. Little kids pick on you for being too: short/tall, dumb/smart, ugly/cute, rich/poor, fast/slow, hairy/bald, dark/light, or whatever they can think of. The point is that they are looking for what your "buttons" are, and then to see what happens when they push them Then, they want to see how long that button works. Like any toddler with a new toy that actually moves or makes a sound, they are enjoying manipulating their environs. At some point, EVERY person wants some button-pushing to cease. Figuring out how to make it stop is a rite of passage for the growth of every being. Counter-attack in-kind, use physical force, deflect the criticism with humor, ignore it, etc etc etc... There are as many solutions to this problem as there are ways to bully someone.
Watch any litter of puppies, kittens, piglets, dolphins, or whatever. It isn't human nature, it is NATURE, that compels this behavior.
It is also a crucially important lesson to learn: how to get an annoyance / threat / thief to stop taking advantage of you, hurting you, or otherwise making you miserable. If you are prevented from ever learning any of these methods, then you'll be at the mercy of anyone who wants to make you miserable or poorer, for the rest of your life. Those who seek to stop bullying are simply getting into the business of changing human nature (which NEVER goes well), and can do nothing but prevent important life lessons from occurring.
(Yes, SOME bullying goes waaaay too far... usually because the victim never engages or figures out a way to confront it... and those who do so should be punished appropriately. However, the vast, vast, majority of what is being addressed by these idiotic schemes should never come under government scrutiny or control. If we take away this life lesson, then our future generations will simply be far MORE susceptible to those who do not receive Dear Leader's Wise and Just Non-Bullying Education.)
***The other 10% is a coalition of fat kids, gingers, and stutterers. ****
Back in my day being in the popular and accepted class meant you would not be bullied. Those who were bullied were
no kin in the class
normal kids not allowed to fight back.
Fathers a public drunk. (Bullies’ parents hid their drinking)
I’ve been to some schools in which the most of the entire class was kin to everyone else in the class, and the outsider kids caught hell from everyone.
The bullies were usually kids who were big, athletes or not athletes, who just loved to beat up on others because they could get away with it. You didn’t tell because you would then be considered by all to be a “snitch”.
Another kind of bullying was when everyone just shunned you because you were too poor or an outsider.
Even teachers could be a bully. When a teacher left the room she would call on the most unpopular kid to take names of people talking while she was gone. The kid was unpopular so if everyone hated him for taking names it was OK.
Now, most anti-bullying laws are aimed to protect homo kids. We never had that as back then most kids had no idea what a homo was. They were just “sissies”.
I know some people who have said they will never attend a school reunion because of bullying by the entire class even though they live just a few miles from the school.
“I know some people who have said they will never attend a school reunion because of bullying by the entire class even though they live just a few miles from the school.”
I felt that way too for many years. A few years ago, after listening to a few classmates who (much to my surprise) reached out to me on FB, I went to my 20th anniversary reunion.
Listening to how a few of my former tormentors had crashed and burned, gone through personal hell, or just been non-starters in life was actually very satisfying. I feel a lot better now for it.
That these kids are so pampered is probably exactly WHY the are going “gay.”
I agree. I'd go so far as to ditch the teaching of modern foreign languages and teach the little beggars Greek and Latin so they could read that literature in its original form.
Much more valuable than learning how to ask where the bathroom is for that trip to Paris that never materializes.
Not. I documented everything (3.5MB) and went all the way up to the corporate VP for HR. He told me I was a "whining malcontent" and to get back to work.
>It is also a crucially important lesson to learn: how to get an annoyance / threat / thief to stop taking advantage of you, hurting you, or otherwise making you miserable. If you are prevented from ever learning any of these methods, then you’ll be at the mercy of anyone who wants to make you miserable or poorer, for the rest of your life. Those who seek to stop bullying are simply getting into the business of changing human nature (which NEVER goes well), and can do nothing but prevent important life lessons from occurring.<
Consider that ignoring the predators teaches them to go through life repeating what works. Perhaps this hands off reaction by adults in power is what perpetuates anti-social activity in the workplace and in society? Intervention will not stop a budding sociopath, but it will make some youngsters sit up and take notice. If anti-social behavior is pre-determined, how does at least a segment of the human race ever learn civil behavior? God gave us brains and the ability to fight against the worst of human nature.
Perhaps one direction in which to turn, is looking for youngsters who are not able to develop coping skills on their own. These are the kids who eventually escape through suicide. Society won’t be able to save all of them, but just perhaps some sort of intervention could save at least a percentage.
Had a similar thing happen.
On my five year class reunion, I had a guy come up to me in tears, drunk. He apologized for be an ass, and said there wasn’t a week that went by without him regretting it.
I hadn’t thought of him in years before that.
You stopped at VP?
And THEN turn it around so the PERP now feels the pain!
Having experience in both, my opinion is shaped also by my experience living in foreign countries.
Any foreign language is good, and very early exposure (at toddler age when they are learning language) is important.
Then learning any language later on is easier.
Reading in native language is interesting.
We use Fitzgerald’s and also Fagles. With Fagles you can get the audio of The Iliad and The Odyssey and listen and read. It’s actually great. Ian McClellon (sp?) and that wonderful Derek Jacobi, respectively, no opposite.
It’s so great for knowing good behavior v bad, regarding the discussion, here.
Yes. Don't misunderstand.
I just think it's unrealistic [if not downright impossible] to teach a child to converse competently in a foreign language all the while immersed in American culture. Much better, perhaps, to teach the grammar, syntax, and spelling such that the child could read the literature [and then make him read the literature].
There, he might learn something of value.
This is one of my favorite passages from Albert Jay Nock's "The Theory of Education in the United States".
"I was lately shown a dormitory in an undergraduate college, and was told that people spoke only French in that house, no other language being permitted. This did not interest me. I asked what they said when they spoke french, this being the only thing that counts, for one may chatter nonsense and inanities in French as weall as in any other language, I suppose."
Teaching children to read Greek and Latin with no pretense of spoken fluency would be good mental discipline and open them to the foundation of Western Civilization. The Social Studies approach to teaching foreign languages holds no value to me.
I agree. We insist on Latin around here. By mid second year they are singing praises of the value and they want other languages, plus they know they’re learning a lot about English.
Ole Joe has yet to figure out the bullying agenda has nothing to do with real bullying. It has to do with grooming the kids with gay sex so they won’t bully (reject, punch, etc.) perverts who sexually harrass them. Gender bending.