Clareified

Where does the good go

Bullying pulpit

Yesterday was some kind of bully awareness day. From the mom tweeters that I read, public schools have gone to some weird “zero tolerance” bullying policy whereby if a child is kicked by another child and retaliates, they are both expelled.

That strikes me as dumb and overbroad.

In New Jersey, a guy who caught his roommate making out with another man with his webcam, is being prosecuted because his roommate then jumped off the GW Bridge because his gayness was now out. This too strikes me as dumb and misplaced prosecution.

Shrug.

I saw a funny tweet in response to all the bullying ones that went something like “the solution to bullying is to grow a pair.”

Which, I know, easy to say harder to practice, especially with all these stupid rules now. At what point during retaliation does the bullied become the bullier? I can remember fights on the playground after some kid called me Shamu the whale or tripped me in the cafeteria, where the other kid’s face was well and good shoved into the asphalt and I’d still kick them in the stomach for extra good measure. That was probably…um… wrong?

And then there’s bullying that I absolutely approve of… this dude on twitter was writing about his “mind grain.” As in headache. DUUUDEEEE!

So many people retweeted his words with mocking preambles that he deleted his tweets and started crying that people were making fun of him. If you are over the age of 10 and still think migraine is 1) two words and/or 2) contains a d, you deserve whatever you get.

Then there was the guy who thought there were 28 letters in the alphabet. Ditto for him. Whatever. He. Gets.

And no, kids shouldn’t be picked on for being gay or black or fat or ugly or fashionless — but schoolyard fights, teasing, they’re part of growing up, aren’t they? Are we raising a generation of sensitive ass whiners who won’t be able to take a joke? Who won’t be able to handle it when our Chinese overlords tease them about the shape of their eyes and their good driving?

I hope not, cause then I’m going to need to write all new material for my blogs!

8 Responses to “Bullying pulpit”

  1. Tae Says:

    Anyone who is able to tweet does not have a migraine anyway, so the little putz deserves what he gets.

    Kicking doesn’t sound like bullying. It sounds like…kicking. Survival of the fittest stuff. Which, I agree, is not grounds for being expelled.

    However, I think the roommate guy should be prosecuted. What Dharum Ravi did was vicious and totally violated Tyler Clementi’s privacy. It wasn’t the one-time video streaming that made him jump – it was weeks of harassment, including inviting people on Twitter to another live stream. Why Tyler Clementi didn’t find somewhere else to go, who knows, he was 18. Manslaughter, IMO, is too severe, but I feel Ravi (and Wei) deserve some blame and punishment.

  2. Astin Says:

    You get exactly what is showing up in the work force and “real” world today. Entitled brats with 1-ply-tissue-paper-thin skin. They walk in, thinking they should be handled like a Faberge egg and when they’re questioned, or even slightly insulted, they break down.

    So now adults are getting the education at work that they should have had in the playground. Problem is, the playground is far less complicated than reality, so it’s a lot better to learn these lessons there when you don’t have bills to pay and shoulder some responsibility for your life.

  3. Dawn Summers Says:

    I will admit though, as an adult, I find being unable to punch someone in the face, oppressive.

  4. Tae Says:

    Truly. I don’t find myself wanting to punch someone in the face as much as I want to kick someone in the nuts or slap the backside of their head. But I’d take whatever I could get, even if it’s toe stomping. Something. Anything.

  5. Boogie Says:

    Standing up to the six foot bully on sixth grade was one of the most important experiences of my life. I remember looking around, desperate to find an adult to save me. When I realized that nobody was coming, I fought back, got the shit beat out of me, got better, and was never that scared of being beaten up again. If someone had intervened, I’m probably a total wuss today. BECAUSE I was bullied, I became brave.

    That said, I wasn’t picked on for any particular reason, deshawn Daniels was just a psycho, and was shot in a gunfight at age 14. I am a white, hetero middle class male, and as such I recognize that I live a privileged, naive existence where everything always turns out ok. I honestly don’t know what it’s like to be tortured for who I am, so what the hell do I know.

  6. Dawn Summers Says:

    Whoa! Who knew Buffalo was so gangsta!

  7. Boogie Says:

    Actually Syracuse, but the same logic still applies.

  8. pearatty Says:

    I think there’s a difference between a schoolyard fight, and bullying. It’s the psychological torture and the ongoing nature of it that makes something bullying. I’m not sure it’s possible for a school of any size to have a policy that recognizes the nuances of that, though.

    Mr. P has the best story ever about bullying. Mr. P was a lanky geeky smart kid. One day, a big kid in his class in grade school told Mr. P to do the kid’s assignment in something. Mr. P said no. The kid told him he was going to jump him after school. Mr. P was riding his bike home, and the kid jumped out of some bushes and grabbed Mr. P’s handlebars and told him to get off and fight.

    Mr. P kept saying “I don’t want to fight; I’m not gonna fight you.” The kid started saying “c’mon p-ssy, I’m not going to let you go till we fight.” So Mr. P got off his bike and put the kickstand down, bent down, and took his bike chain off. The kid was all “you’re not going to use the chain, don’t be a p-ssy.” Mr. P said, “hey, I don’t want to fight; if you’re going to make me fight, I’m going to use the chain.” then he hit the kid on the head with it a few times and left him blubbering on the sidewalk as he rode off on his bike.

    I think we can all agree that is a beautiful story. It’s unfortunate that Mr. P would probably have been punished or prosecuted under today’s rules. On the other hand, maybe that first kid wouldn’t have thought he could go around picking fights like that under today’s rules.

    I also think that the balance of power shifted to the bullies, when corporal punishment at schools got ousted. I had a few kids in my class who had bully tendencies, but they’d get paddled every so often, and that kept them in line. Now kids don’t really have anything to be afraid of at school anymore.

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