Actually, enough with any anti-bullying laws.
You know how bullying was handled when I was in school? It wasn’t by an act of Congress. You either stood up for yourself, or you didn’t. Your choice.
I’m not saying bullying should be tolerated, but it’s not a Washington issue. It’s a parent issue. Parents have to either teach their kids to stand up for themselves, or take up the issue with the school.
But, what’s really bugging me these days is how a single incident can cause a national movement (so to speak) to curb anti-gay bullying in schools.
A history teacher amends his lessons on the civil rights movement to include the push for gay equality. A high school removes Internet filters blocking gay advocacy websites. Six gay students sue their district, saying officials failed to protect them from bullies.
After anti-gay bullying led to a spate of teen suicides last year, school districts across the country are stepping up efforts to prevent such incidents, while more students are coming forward to report bullies.
“It’s an issue that has taken over the public consciousness since last fall,” said Jill Marcellus, spokeswoman for the Gay-Straight Alliance Network. “People realize it doesn’t have to be this way. We can make it better.”
Awareness of anti-gay bullying is increasing as acceptance of gay people has grown in society. Gay marriage is legal in several states, gays are now permitted to serve openly in the military and, in California, schools will soon have to teach gay-rights history.
Kids, even as young as middle school age, feel more emboldened to openly express their sexual or gender orientation, but many are not prepared for a possible backlash, gay-rights advocates say.
As much as I hate all this attention being given to curb bullying, it really bugs me that there are apparently enough people who seem to think anti-gay bullying is the only bullying that is worth addressing. You know what, school sucks for a lot of people. Kids get picked on for all sorts of reasons, but you don’t see such specific attention being given to bullying based on social or economic factors, fashion, or weight, etc. etc. etc.
When did we get so soft that the immediate response to an act of bullying is community action, and inevitably government action?
I’m not a parent yet, but when I am, if my kid gets bullying, my response would be to teach him to stand up for himself. Bullies prey on the weak because they feel they can manipulate them. If we teach kids that they don’t have to handle their own problem, that the government will come in and solve it all for them, then things are just going to get a lot worse. It’s bad enough so many rely on the government for monetary handouts… do we really need the government fighting our schoolyard battles too?