Humanists Address Bullying

The website has an interesting online conversation (part of it in the comment section) on bullying among young children. This is an especially delicate topic for me personally, and I was careful not to get too emotional in my replies.  So, be warned that I held back some serious stuff that’s bursting out now. It should be noted that both of my parents are deceased, and I have ambivalent feelings about describing their past behavior.  Still, what happened, happened. I was bullied when I was a child, and the onset of it was especially bizarre.  For the first two … Continue reading Humanists Address Bullying

Excellent Piece by Nancy Jo Sales on Sexual Harassment of Children by Peers

Please click the link below to read an honest, level-headed article by someone who knows how these things happen. Many of us agree that men must speak up and make it clear that sexual harassment and assault are unacceptable, and that they want nothing to do with men who commit those offenses.  Maybe the instances of sexual misconduct by male children and teenagers could be curbed if boys clarified the same rules for their peers.  That’s just my own suggestion. Continue reading Excellent Piece by Nancy Jo Sales on Sexual Harassment of Children by Peers

Courage Vs. Following Orders

When I was in school, I didn’t have courageous teachers.  They went whichever way the political wind blew, and to hell with their students. The above statement is a generalization, and now I’m thinking there may have been two or more who would have confronted their superiors if the circumstances were right.  They might have actually done it, too, even if I didn’t hear about it. Deyshia Hargrave, an English teacher in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, said apparently reasonable things that caused offense to powerful people at a School Board meeting on Monday night, and she was ordered to leave.  A … Continue reading Courage Vs. Following Orders

Hitting Back a Bully Can Be Risky

A link to a New York Daily News article appears at the end of this post. The school where this altercation occurred is located in Franklin, Indiana.  Although the arrest of the child is videotaped, there’s no real proof of what happened before that.  Two different accounts are shared. I attended public and private schools during the 1960s and 70s, and saw a pattern which I don’t believe has changed.  Students are told in advance by teachers and administrators, “If someone hurts you, don’t hit back.  Tell the teacher.”  Then, when there’s a report of an incident, the teacher or administrator says … Continue reading Hitting Back a Bully Can Be Risky

Bullying Can be Fatal to Anyone

We should try to be fair, and recognize that a tragedy like the one at Urban Assembly For Wildlife Conservation isn’t always reported accurately in the media — especially in the first few days after the worst happens. In any environment, though, abuses of power create a pressure cooker situation.  It isn’t that unusual for persons in positions of responsibility to ignore the problem, with the reasoning, If anything extreme comes of it, the scandal will blow over.  Those negligent people enable bullies. Too many scandals have blown over, and it doesn’t change the fact that lives have been ruined.  Suicides, … Continue reading Bullying Can be Fatal to Anyone

Respected Institutions and Hate

At the moment, Cornell University has its hands full.  So does a man who was allegedly beaten and called a racist slur by one of Cornell’s students.  That man and an entire institution must recover now (in different ways), and it won’t be easy for either.  There’s also a question of due process for the student who is accused of beating that man. I’d better admit I have a bias, and it’s unfair.  The only Cornell graduate I’ve ever known was an absolute horse’s ass, God rest his soul.  He was a spoiled rich kid, and obviously didn’t use privilege … Continue reading Respected Institutions and Hate

Yes, These People are Real. Let’s Hope They Aren’t too Common

Sadly, the parent who lacks empathy can be found anywhere.  Neighborhood/schoolyard bullies often know which of their peers have dysfunctional parents, and they exploit these family tragedies. One of the reasons bullying is rampant among children is there are few alternatives to parents getting involved.  Although it’s true that good parents have intervened — with mixed results — there’s always the child who spends years begging a bad parent for protection. Don’t assume every parent has concern, perspective or a sense of obligation toward his or her children.  Some people who have reproduced or adopted are ignorant, chemically dependent, mentally … Continue reading Yes, These People are Real. Let’s Hope They Aren’t too Common