Bullying is seen as an epidemic in today’s society. There is hardly a day that goes by that a media outlet of some sort does not cover an instance of bullying. Social scientists, psychologists, politicians, and educators place a lot of emphasis on creating programs to eliminate the problem of bullying. How much of a problem is bullying though? I don’t deny the merits that bullying is some kind of problem, but does it deserve the kind of attention we’re now giving it? Is it also possible that the intervention of institutions have only made things worse?
I think it has actually made things much worse. The emphasis we place on school administration, campaigns, and other institutions to stop bullying has only made children more dependent on other entities to solve their problems with other people. Once upon a time, a time too traditional for our taste nowadays, a young boy was taught to stick up for himself. His father and mother assured him that if the school officials got upset with him for defending himself that they would support him in whatever way necessary. This sort of scenario is a shadow of the past though. Schools have a zero-tolerance policy for fighting. What this means is that if you defend your self you can be suspended or even expelled. Parents hardly have any power amongst school officials anymore, but they get what they deserve for turning their children’s education over to government. If you hit somebody for verbally or physically attacking you, you’re told that you’re “no better than the person picking on you.” You’re told that only “neanderthals” act in such ways and you’re certainly not acting like the “bigger man” (whatever that exactly means). These terms suggest that you’re not acting like a good person if you stick up for yourself. What choice do young kids have but to try and walk away from every confrontation they met with other people? They could tattle, er, um, I mean seek help from a qualified official who can deal with their problems for them. Of course you’re only asking for more trouble and continue to lose respect in the eyes of those who are allegedly attacking you. The head researcher of a study at the University of Texas at Arlington, criminologist Seokjin Jeong, is now suggesting that anti-bullying campaigns only increase bullying. Jeong says “A very disappointing and a very surprising thing. Our anti-bullying programs, either intervention or prevention does not work.” Dr.Stuart Twemlow, a professor of health sciences at University College, London, also agreed with the findings of the study. So, it looks like we may have taught our children not to defend themselves – because that just makes you a meat head – and on top of that our programs actually don’t help them but only make things worse. That seems like a great position for young kids to be in doesn’t it?
Part of the Progressive agenda is to find newer and fresh ways to enhance and perfect society. Of course this isn’t a bad thing in itself. The purpose behind this is to hopefully reach a perfect society. The emphasis on science and mathematics only serves to show that we live in a society guided by a progressive agenda, not that science and math are bad in themselves. These two subjects attempt to solve the problems of all disease and economic woes. Why I wonder? Traditions will be challenged because, while good to some degree, they are not enough; things could always be better. Nobody would seriously disagree with this though. The question is not whether things can conceivably be better but whether things can actually be made better and how much better can we truly make things? The government in a Progressive society becomes an entity which creates programs and campaigns that polices thoughts, words, and deeds that would stymie continual growth. For this reason, we have anti-bullying programs in schools instead of allowing children to deal with their problems with each other in reasonable ways. In so doing, kids grow up passive-aggressive and “non-confrontational”. Those kids that grow up dealing with their problems, vocal about their concerns or issues with others, seem intimidating and aggressive to a majority of young adults who are always looking for someone to deal with their problems for them. It’s no coicidence that we call much of the government and their institutions by the name “Big brother”. My younger sister’s high school, predominantly made up of white kids, just underwent a survey that asked all non-white males (yes, all non-white males were excluded) if they were being treated fairly while they were in school. White males could never be treated unfairly of course.Decades removed from the civil rights era and even further removed from slavery we’re still targeting white males as a serious threat to racial and gender equality. Apparently people who participate in this agenda are still unaware of the racist implications behind these motives. Again, programs and campaigns are funded in order to defend the “progress” of society from anything of the past that might stymie this progress. Conservatives, not against change in itself, but find that change needs to take account of human nature, have often looked upon principals of the past and their cultural traditions to be conducive to human flourishing. Since on the Conservative view human nature is applicable to all human beings in all instances of time, they usually see no need in reforming things that are true and have worked for societies in the past. The Progressive might admit that things have been good and expedient in the past, but since these things have not brought us to a more perfect civilization, reform is a thing that is constantly needed so we can have better communities and better people in the future, even if that means disregarding what is “true” and what has been expedient for societies in the past.
“Liberals used to have a strong belief in linear progress: in the idea that the world was steadily advancing towards a higher level of civilisation. This idea was clearly expressed, for instance, by the English writer Matthew Arnold in the mid-nineteenth century, when he proclaimed his “faith in the progress of humanity toward perfection.” Liberals today are usually not so optimistic. Nonetheless, the idea of linear progress still exists more subtly in liberal beliefs about the “progressive” nature of social reforms and change, and fears of “stagnation” or “going back”. – Mark Richardson, from his blog Oz Conservative
The point of the above quote is to demonstrate a crucial view of liberals: there is no human nature that is applicable to every person under all instances of time. A human being is a self-determining creature; the purpose of the human is to be as free as possible to follow it’s “creative spirit” and determine what they wish to be. For this reason, gender is seen as a social construct, traditional marriage is seen as oppressive since it implies clear roles for each member of that family that are not determined by the individuals of that family, and culture and race, formed by inherited, chosen qualities are seen as imagined ties rather than “natural” ones (natural being a term that progressives deplore). People must be free to determine and create a self they deem worthy. A Progressive government will create campaigns and programs that will help defend and promote this idea.
Is it consistent with the liberal campaign, which is to promote and protect the “creative spirit” that engenders pure self-determination and self-creation, to tell others they cannot be a specific way, like bullies? No, it isn’t at all consistent. The presupposition for particular programs that protect weaker kids from those who are more powerful, in whatever way that may be, only suggests that there are ways human beings should be treated and this is grounded in what the human person is, not what he wants to be or what he wishes to be. Unfortunately, bullying as defined by our all-knowing government suggests a “power imbalance” and this power balance is seen as the cause of bullying. What if there were no power imbalance? As far as the liberals and their definition of bullying is concerned, there would be no bullying to worry about. This fits neatly with their attempts to equalize everybody. Instead of seeing that their campaign efforts are grounded in an understanding of unchanging human nature, that human beings are a particular way and should be treated in accordance with that understanding, they wrongly see the problems of bullying as a result of inequality, like much of everything else they fight against. As long as someone feels inferior, they are victimized by a “power imbalance”. They’re already predetermined by these conditions to be a particular way. So, we must make all feel equal in every respect, as much as possible, so people are more free to be whatever the wish to be. Our anti-bullying campaigns are not only programs that prevent “teasing”, “picking”, “hurtful words”, etc. , they are programs that help iron out the “power imbalances” of inequality. If you’re a Conservative you should not be pleased that tax dollars are going to fund what now seems like an industry to fight of the “epidemic” that is bullying.
How does this have anything to do with bullying per se? Our Anti-bullying
efforts have done very little, if anything, to stop bullying. As some researchers are suggesting, it actually makes matters worse. Kids grow into flabby adults who are too scared to deal with other people and seem to be in constant need of figures to deal with their problems for them. If someone hurts you, there’s always a person you can run and tell who will make things better for you. No doubt some will be unjustly seen as bullies. How is this progress though? Is it good to be so dependent on the government, it’s institutions, and it’s campaigns? The irony of Progressivism should be obvious here: sometimes the progressives are the very cause of what they try and fight against.
When I was in middle school, a young girl was not permitted by her parents to shave her legs. She was too young to do this, according to her parents. She received the nickname “hairy teddy bear” or something similar to that. It probably wasn’t an easy few weeks having to endure the unkindness of her peers. One night at a football game a young guy picked on her for her unshaven legs. She punched him in the nose and walked away vindicated. He walked away embarrassed with a bloody nose if I remember correctly. Nobody called her by that name again.
I’ll let you decide what the moral of the story is.
- Are Anti-Bullying Programs Having An Opposite Effect? (dfw.cbslocal.com)
- Youth more likely to be bullied at schools with anti-bullying programs (psypost.org)