The government’s anti-bullying campaign is getting kicked up a notch. Just before President Obama endorsed homosexual marriage, he endorsed legislation vastly expanding the federal role in fighting bullies, also at the behest of homosexual activists. While that may sound like a big deal, the reality is that government’s anti-bullying efforts are a joke. Instead of worrying about Mitt Romney’s alleged bullying 50 years ago, journalists should be asking why these programs are so ridiculous.
What is the advice from the Obama administration if a child finds himself being physically assaulted by a classmate on a regular basis? Exactly the same advice experts gave about terrorists before Sept. 11: “Don’t fight back.”
The federal government advises, for example, to “look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off.” The federal program’s website then adds, “This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off-guard.”
When you are not fighting back in a government-approved fashion as a bully physically assaults you, the government suggests you “find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.” Other pieces of sage advice include: “Stay away from places where bullying happens,” and “Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.”
In short, let the bullies control your life. If that makes you upset, “don’t keep your feelings inside.”
Following that government advice doesn’t work; the federal standards are the same ones parents and school counselors gave kids 40 years ago.
Six years ago at the Eric Smith Middle School in Ramsey, N.J., when Sawyer Rosenstein was 12, another student punched him in the stomach and left him permanently paralyzed from the waist down.
Sawyer didn’t fight back and went to school officials with his problem. He documented it with numerous emails to school administrators. The school ignored his pleas. And now it has cost them. Last month, he settled with the school district for $4.2 million.
If you don’t take the government’s advice and flee your abusers, schools frequently punish the victims. Fox 31 in Denver reports that on April 18, 9-year-old Nathan Pemberton was suspended after he stood up to a bully who was beating him.
“One kid kicked me in the back, then punched me in the face. Then I punched him in the face, and then I got in trouble,” he says.
Nathan’s parents told Fox 31 News their son, who attends West Elementary School in Colorado Springs, was bullied at least once a week.
“Finally, yeah, we told him, if you have to, if there’s nobody else around, you do what you have to do,” said Nathan’s mother, Deborah Pemberton.
According to a statement from the school, the district has a “no-tolerance student discipline policy. If a student is involved in a physical altercation on school property, they are automatically suspended.”
“District 11 schools employ many anti-bullying teaching techniques … and none of these methods include violence or retaliation,” a school spokesperson told Fox 31 News.
However, according to reports, Ms. Pemberton said, “The school had told us and told him as well, just walk away. Walk away, find a teacher.”
“Well, when those things happened, and he did find a teacher, there were hardly any repercussions,” she responded.
That’s exactly how the system is designed. The White House would like bullying victims to just dream of better days when their bully is gone. It was part of the “It gets better” campaign in 2010, a series of online videos aimed at helping teens bullied for being homosexual or perceived as such. Individuals, some famous like President Obama, preached patience to school kids, telling them that life “gets better” and usually after high school.
Try telling a 12-year-old who must face an attacker on a daily basis that after enduring abuse for six years, “it gets better.” In the meantime, the government advises the child to “laugh it off” and not “fight back.” That works best for the bully and for adults at school, but too often it results in years of misery for the victim. Great plan.
Kerry Picket writes for The Washington Times Watercooler blog.
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