Bullying Is Bad…Unless You Really Mean It Morally

I first came across this article over on Ragen Chastain’s blog Dances With Fat (which I love, love, love). She does a great dissection of the news article, so I won’t repeat her work. I want to focus on one little piece of it.

The gist of the article is that an Ohio teacher and teacher’s aide were proven by hidden tape recorder to have been bullying a 14-year old special needs student. The aide has been let go. The teacher has been placed on probation and is undergoing an eight-hour class on bullying.

What the hell?! Frankly, the minute a teacher creeps toward the line of bullying and child abuse, he needs to be booted to the curb. No second chances! No do-overs!

It’s not even a case of baseless accusation here. They have the abuse on tape! The article mentions several different episodes of abuse being heaped on this girl, so it wasn’t a fleeting, one-comment faux pas.

We trust that our kids are being protected and cared for while they spend a majority of their time away from us. We believe they are being taught in the best way possible. We believe they are being properly socialized with other children. We believe that teachers and aides are not bullying them! When even one teacher crosses the line, it’s a failure for the entire school system.

Here’s where the original article got me. Although I am completely confused why an article about Ohio teachers has a reference to a Michigan law. I guess that just says something about the state of journalism these days!

Here it is…

After a law allowing verbal bullying in schools by teachers and students as long as it was backed by religious beliefs or “strong moral convictions” [emphasis mine] was passed in the Michigan state Senate, lawmakers in the house have responded to a wave of controversy and vowed to make changes that “provide protection to all students.”

In Michigan it’s wrong to bully. Yay! They did they right thing. Unless…(unless is as bad as a but, by the way) the bully really really believes it.

It is wrong to bully in Michigan unless the bully really believes in what he’s being a bully about.

  • Skin heads can legally bully the non-white citizens of the state.
  • Gay bashing is OK if done from the premise that God made me do it.
  • Fat kids can be targeted because we all know fat=evil.

Once again, this article confirms my belief that the people in charge of our lives (i.e., politicians) are complete idiots. For the people, by the people? Bah! Because the majority of citizens aren’t idiots and can recognize crap when we see it.

Bullying is never right. Not even when the bully really really really believes it is.

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