Thursday, January 26, 2012

Legislating Bullying?

Bullying seems to be the one thing thing that can bring everyone together. My friends on the left and those on the right obediently 'repost to their statuses' all the Facebook admonishments against the dreaded bully. "If you want to put an end to bullying copy and paste this to your status."

It seems my thoughts on bullying are SO un-PC. In many cases I place more blame on the parents of the child being bullied... (Now, I am talking about mean talk, mean facebook statuses and school yard teasing --not kids being physically assaulted)

No one wants to talk about some really simple solutions (not a simple as a copy & Paste, but DIY nonetheless):

Don't send your kid to school wearing floods, with greasy hair, with glasses that could kill small animals if the sun shone just right, with dirty clothes, with long dirty nails, with filmy unbrushed teeth. Tell your kid that picking his nose and putting the findings on his desk in 6th grade in unacceptable. Tell your kid that being annoying is well, annoying. Tell your kid that you're not going to be friends with everyone in life and if there's a person (or a few) that don't like you and tell you repeatedly to go away...go away. If your child does something that annoys you, imagine what people that don't love him like you do think. So tell your kid not to talk to fuzzies from his sweater in class or repeatedly poke the kid that sits next to him. Tell him not to be the weird kid. Or the kid that eats his boggies. Or the one that rambles on and on to the teacher and makes everyone late to lunch or recess. Or the one that tells on everyone for everything.

Has bullying and teasing gotten that much worse than when we were young? Or have kids have gotten softer? Learning to deal with people that don't like you is a rite of passage. And an important one to get a grip of before you enter the real world.

I also don't believe that anyone can MAKE someone else do something. If I say "kill yourself" to you 1,000 times a day and you kill yourself...it's not my fault. YOU did it. If I say "give me $1,000" 1,000 times a day and you DON'T do it, can I sue you then?

Maybe it's the Libertarian in me that rails against legislating words. Maybe it's how I was raised. I didn't have parents that were all Nancy-pants about WORDS. If we yelled, "I hate you" to my mom we weren't lectured about how hurtful the word hate is. We were told, "Good, get it out and vent and get over it." There wasn't stuff we couldn't say. We could talk about anything. We still do. I think it's healthy. If you have a healthy self esteem, anyone can say whatever they want to you.

Call me anything you dare, I know I'm awesome.

Anyway, I started thinking about all this after I read this wonderfully snarky article this morning about Massachusetts attempting to legislate bullying --then if they were going to BLACK out bullying (ah! offensive) then WHITE out bullying (ah! offensive) and now ORANGE out bullying (cause that makes so much friggin' sense).

"Official “No Name-Calling Day” in Massachusetts?

What [CENSORED] came up with that brilliant idea?

Massachusetts politicians, of course. In accordance with the ridiculous and over-reaching 2010 “anti-bullying” law, Gov. Deval Patrick has declared today “No Name-Calling Day” in schools, urging students to wear black as a sign of their commitment to “Black Out Bullying.”

Does anyone really believe a politician can stop school kids from calling each other [EDITED]? Or [EDITED] or even [CURRENTLY BEING INVESTIGATED AS A HATE CRIME]?

I got two automated phone calls Monday night reminding me to have my kids wear black,” says Lisa, an annoyed mom in Carver. “This kind of thing isn’t the governor’s job. And what happens if someone calls me a name — am I supposed to call the governor’s office and complain?”

In Carver, they’ve got complaints. In Wayland, confusion. A student at Happy Hollow School told me that they’re under orders to wear orange, not black. “Our principal said wearing black would offend some people ,” he told me. “Why would an African-American governor tell kids to do something offensive to African-American students?”

Good question. Principal Jim Lee says it’s all a big misunderstanding, that he told the kids they could choose between orange and black.

But why orange? What — aren’t we worried about offending area pumpkin farmers? Or the local Oompa-Loompa community? What about Speaker John Boehner?

Ah, but this is Massachusetts, where winning the title “State’s Biggest [REDACTED]” means bringing your A-game. Dighton Elementary School has announced that instead of the blackout, “students will wear white to ‘white out bullying,’ ”

White. So instead of Goth Day, we’re going to dress kids for a Little League Klan rally. Just [REDACTED] brilliant." (BE sure to READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE)

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