Sunday, January 15, 2012

Must Read: A VERY Different Approach to Bullying I'm Not Sure I Like...

(Update: While I may or may not agree completely with the post to which I linked, I do respect the blogger's opinion and her right to do as she sees fit.)

To be perfectly honest, I'm not certain I fully agree with the blog post to which I'm linking below. It's about bullying, and how this blogger thinks it's time to react differently. The reason I'm talking about this now is because I've done a lot of posts on bullying and I've been in touch with a lot of younger LGBT people who have been bullied.

"In our town we had a recent tragedy in which a young life was lost. Due to the child’s age, details have not been released but there are rumors that bullying may have played a part."

The first reason I'm not sure about this approach is that the entire post to which I'm linking is based on hearsay, admittedly, by the author of the post. When it comes to something as important as this, I need solid facts, not misinformed allegations.

All that aside, I do agree, in theory, that we should teach our kids to speak up and never allow anyone to bully them. I was never bullied because I did, in fact, speak up...as a kid and an adult. But I'm also sensitive enough to know that not all kids have the capacity to speak up this way. Not to mention that some might also argue the approach to which I'm linking sends kids mixed signals about the difference between right and wrong. In other words, if you're an adult driving down the highway and another adult starts to bully you with road rage (we've all been there), do you shout "Fuck you, you miscreant," or do you get his/her license plate number and report him/her to the police. As a responsible adult you would take down his/her tag and a description of his/her car and report him/her to the police. As an irresponsible adult you'd pull over, scream right back in his/her face, call him/her a fucking miscreant, and then you'd become an integral part of an already explosive situation that's doomed...not the smartest thing to do.

I also know, from first hand experience with one particular nephew in middle school, that many schools nowadays have a zero tolerance policy with regard to anything that's considered offensive. This goes for the bully and for the kid being bullied. And I'm not sure shouting "Fuck you, you miscreant," would work well at his school. My nephew would not only wind up being bullied even more later, but he'd also become "classified" as a trouble maker in his school..."that kid with the bad mouth who shouts Fuck you, you miscreant"...and once a kid is classified that way, officially or unofficially, he or she will always be regarded this way. Schools these days, at least here in the east coast where I live, are dealing with major issues now. They don't need more problems.

So while an aggressive approach to bullying is sometimes the best approach, being smarter than the bully, and knowing that you are smarter than the bully, and reporting the incident and the bully to the right people is the smarter way to go. Knowing the meaning of big words like "miscreant" doesn't make you smart. It just makes you knowledgeable. Because all it takes is just one nutty bully, and in this world there are plenty of them out there, to hear "Fuck you, you miscreant," and that bully might not back down the first time.

Here's a link to the blog post, titled, "Fuck You, You Miscreant," where you can form your own opinion.

And, for those of us who don't know, which I would imagine is most of us, including most school teachers, (I have over 80 published works out and I've never used this word in the sentence before), here's the meaning of miscreant:

mis·cre·ant/ˈmiskrēənt/

Noun: A person who behaves badly or in a way that breaks the law.

Adjective:(of a person) Behaving badly or breaking a law.

Synonyms: noun. villain - scoundrel - blackguard - rascal - rogue - knave

adjective. mean - vile - base

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