Comment 77431

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted May 28, 2012 at 23:25:43

The real problem with the current discourse about "bullying" is that it totally avoids the discussion of who gets targetted and why. We muse about the personal dysfunctions which cause bullying, what teachers should be doing to stop it or why our society is so "violent", but the obvious discussion gets buried. Who's getting picked on? Gay kids, disabled kids, foreign kids - anyone who's "different". Why? Because bullying is about enforcing social norms. Whatever the motivations which lead to it (being abused, spoiled, or whatever), bullies pick on these kids because they know they can get away with it, and in all likelihood such acts will raise their standing among others. Why is this tolerated? Because many in positions of authority want to see these norms enforced. I'd like to thank people like Pat Daly for illustrating this so perfectly.

This isn't just a local Catholic Board issue. Provincially and in many American states, Conservatives and Republicans have threatened to scuttle entire anti-bullying bills over the threat of "Gay-Straight Alliances" or the very mention of homophobic bullying. That's a pretty loud statement that they want this kind of bullying to continue, even if the cost is that all bullying continues unhindered.

Kids do not choose to be gay, nor do they choose which school board they attend. Most are too young to vote for their trustees or any other kind of politician. Nobody will be forced to attend a GSA meeting. The issue is whether students get any choice whatsoever in the matter, in spite of the wishes of parents, politicians and preachers.

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