Friday, January 18, 2013

What is Considered Bullying?

It seems to me that in recent years, there has been a push in our society, especially in our public schools, to stop bullying.  I believe that stopping bullying is a great thing to shoot for…but I just don’t know how well it will work.  It seems that the bullies that I knew in school continued to be bullies…no matter what punishment was given or what “program” was implemented. 

Bullying has been in the spotlight more lately because of the school violence.  It turns out that many of those being bullied eventually “have enough,” and they act out in a violent way.  I can understand  “having enough” and taking action.  The kids that I knew in school who were bullied should have “had enough” on any given day.  When they did, their reactions ranged from tears to shouting to punching the other kid in the nose…but I don’t believe it even crossed their minds to go home, get a gun, and shoot up the whole school.  Things have certainly changed.  I don’t think that we can point at one certain thing that would make these kids choose to KILL the bullies and others along with them… 
Bullying is widely defined within the public school as “taunting, physical abuse, or exclusion from groups and pastimes.”  That definition, in my opinion, is too broad…  Most anything can be considered “bullying.”  Society has definitely taken the definition of bullying too far.  A story I read recently confirmed this.  Here is the situation.  There is an elementary school in Montana.  The students were going to perform a Christmas concert for the parents and others living in the town.  A group of parents wrote a letter to the school threatening to sue them over this Christmas concert if the kids sang any songs with religious connotations, such as “Joy To The World.”  They claim that since there are Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist students, having them sing Christmas songs that refer to Christ is a form of bullying.  It’s a crazy world out there, folks…when we can’t sing about the birth of Jesus at Christmastime because it will be considered bullying.

The strange thing is that I have heard of schools that have taught Jewish songs and Muslim prayers and called it teaching “diversity.”  Somehow anything that promotes Christianity has become bullying.

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