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As a teacher I have said a number of times that I am totally opposed to bullying. And that includes bullying in all forms: bullying someone because they're overweight, bullying someone because they're effeminate, bullying someone because they're "super-religious," all of it is unacceptable.
Will it happen? Of course. But I believe schools should deal swiftly and harshly with all bullying - though it won't eliminate the bullying, it can do a great deal to minimize its impact on victims who should not ever have to view school as a place of intimidation, or a place that they get sick in the morning thinking about having to go and face.
But, as is usually the case, those who claim to care most about this issue are the ones who have turned it into a political platform rather than a serious attempt to crackdown on its prevalence. As we see in a litany of examples, do-gooder liberals convince themselves that by having a sit-down talky-talk and "national conversation" about the problem, it will someone make the problem go away.
Actually no, it won't. The problem, as I have stated, will never go away entirely. But the way to make it shrink is to ream the bullies and deal with them harshly. Of course, that's something liberals have fought for generations to eliminate from schools as well.
Thomas Sowell talks about this nonsense in a recent article:
When educators are going to do nothing, they express great concern and make pious public pronouncements. They may even hold conferences, write op-ed pieces or declare a "no tolerance" policy. But they are still not going to do anything that is likely to stop bullying.
In some rough schools, they can't even stop the bullying of teachers by the hooligans in their classes, much less stop the bullying of students.
Not all of this is the educators' fault. The courts have created a legal climate where any swift and decisive action against bullies can lead to lawsuits. The net results are indecision, half-hearted gestures and pious public pronouncements by school officials, none of which is going to stop bullies.
When judges create new "rights" for bullies out of thin air, just as they do for criminals, and prescribe "due process" for school discipline, just as if schools were little courtrooms, then nothing is likely to happen promptly or decisively.
If there is anything worse than doing nothing, it is doing nothing spiced with empty rhetoric about what behavior is "unacceptable" -- while in fact accepting it.
I can hear my liberal friends now saying things like, "Oh but Peter, school administrators might become abusive or go too far!" In other words, they might start bullying the bullies. So let me get this straight: they trust adolescent bullies to behave appropriately after singing Kum-ba-yah and talking about their feelings with a counselor more than they trust highly trained, well paid administrators to administer justice fairly?
Then why are we training and paying them so much? Sowell continues by illustrating another part of the problem:
President Barack Obama has joined the chorus of those deploring bullying. But his own administration is pushing the notion that a disproportionate number of suspensions or other punishments for members of particular racial or ethnic groups is discriminatory.
In other words, if a school suspends more black males than Asian females, that is taken as a sign of discrimination. No one in his right mind really believes that, but it is part of the grand make-believe that pervades our politics and even our courts.
For years, there have been stories in New York and Philadelphia newspapers about black kids beating up Asian classmates. But do not expect anybody to do anything that is likely to put a stop to it.
If these were white kids beating up Hispanic kids, cries of outrage would ring out across the land from the media, the politicians, the churches and civic groups. But it is not politically correct to make a fuss when black kids beat up Asian kids.
You want to stop bullying in schools to the greatest degree possible? Okay, then tank the political correctness garbage and punish swiftly and harshly those students - of any color, race, creed, nationality or gender - who bully.
If you haven't figured it out yet, doing so will require wresting control of our schools from the liberal left. Liberals are a bully's best friend.