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Showing posts with label Bullying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bullying. Show all posts

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Justice for Bullies!

Yeah, I'm thinking this is what should happen to right wing blog commenters as well...:)


Friday, October 25, 2013

It Begins (And Ends) With The Parents

Nearly all of the challenges I face as an instructor are due to poor parenting. Parents do indeed really suck and they are getting worse. Even the number of sucky parents are on the rise as our culture becomes more and more cemented in the misplaced and harmful values of the Michael Jordan Generation. It's very clear that parents are just not doing their job.

Never was this statement more true than with the parents of the shooter in the recent Sparks, Nevada Middle School shooting. While it hasn't been fully confirmed yet, the student who killed teacher and vet Michael Landsberry and wounded two other students likely got the semi-auto 9mm from his parents. What the hell were they thinking? And what kind of a fucking country do we live in where a guy who does tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan lives through that but gets shot in his hometown? It's stuff like this that completely disgusts me.

This would be a clear example of people who should not be allowed to own guns and why our laws regarding arms need to be changed. Their license to own a gun should be taken away and they should face criminal charges. I'm wondering if they were "live free or die" types like Nancy Lanza who also thought it would be nifty to let her mentally ill sun have access to her guns.

The facts of this case have been very slow in coming but my takeaways are that it's clear there was some sort of bullying involved (more on that later), the shooter was mentally ill, and his parents are directly responsible. Further, this latest incident has led me to reflect about Newton and come to the conclusion the ideology that bloviates from the gun community is also responsible. This is particularly true in the case of Nancy Lanza who bought their lies to such a degree that she felt she needed a fucking arsenal to protect herself.

It begins and ends with the parents, folks. If they don't do their job, we end up with situations like this. And more and more of them these days are failing miserably.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

It Always Takes A Few Dead Bodies

I'm happy to report that Anoka-Hennepin schools have reversed their awful bullying policy and now allow homosexuality to be talked about openly by resolving the pending litigation and civil rights issues. I'm not at all happy that, as is usually the case, it took dead bodies to effect any sort of change.

I may be in a different district than Anoka-Hennepin but when I became a teacher, the well being of all children became my responsibility. Those kids, just like the ones I teach, were my kids. I will always feel that loss every single day for the rest of my life. Anyone who seeks to undermine the well being of a student anywhere near my back yard is going to get me up their fucking ass morning, noon, and night until they back off and keep their views to themselves.

How it took this long is a fine example of what happens when we allow bigots and ignorant homophobes to set policy. More often than not, they simply don't think and this is the kind of bullshit that happens. People who take that extra step into action (based on their ignorant bias) should be immediately held legally accountable for their actions. Honestly, they should be put in fucking prison for civil rights violations and not one of those country club jails...FEDERAL pound me in the ass prison.

It worked in the 60s and it would damn well work now.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gay And Retarded

There's not a day that goes by that I don't hear the words "gay" and "retarded" in school. In fact, I myself have said them in the past on several occasions while out at the pub or some other such social occasion.. But something clicked in me many months back and I realized that I just didn't want to say them anymore. If you sit back and think about it, if something is "gay" that means it's stupid. That's connecting stupidity to homosexuality. And if something is "retarded," that's belittling someone who has a disability. So I stopped saying them. Most of my students still do although they know I don't like it. I might throw them a look or make a quick comment which usually elicits a quick apology. They don't really mean much by it and, sadly, it is part of their slang these days.

They may not mean much by it but, people being who they are, will always take things further. What happens at that point? Well, this.  I've had several requests to comment on this story and so here it is.

I'll start off by saying that the Anoka-Hennepin School District from the top down has done an awful job of handling this situation. Rather than focus on handling the bullying side of it and adopting a zero tolerance rule for such behavior (as is the case in both my district and my children's district), they chose to give a forum to people who talk of "radical homosexual agendas." (side question: Just what exactly is the "agenda that homosexual activists are seeking to advance?") This lead to the very justified entrance of GLBT and civil rights groups which, in turn, leads to a situation that is FUBAR. In playing the "Cult of Both Sides" game, they ended up losing.

What the school district should have done was tell the No Homo Promo crowd that, under no circumstances, will they tolerate people being treated poorly for any reason. As Howard Stern so eloquently explains at the end of this post, there should be zero tolerance for these people.

Now, to be fair, the situation isn't exactly as depicted as it was in the Rolling Stone article. We have this recent vote in which the policy was changed. And we have another look at the school district in which we see a different angle to what was originally reported. Some of what the school district officials say in this latter article ring true. The original article is distorted and the side of the story that isn't being told is seen in both of above links.

The fact of the matter is that teachers have far too much on their plate to talk as much about sex as all of the stories seem to illustrate. Other than health classes, there really isn't that much cause to talk about homosexuality and kids don't really bring it up-in a bullying environment or otherwise. There is some of random stuff here and there that goes on in most districts but, for the most part, this sort of thing isn't common. Essentially, the Anoka-Hennepin suicides (along with their recently reversed asinine policy) are an anomaly. Just like GSAs aren't "sex clubs," rampant bigotry leading gay kids to suicide is also an outlier.

There are far too many other mountains to conquer such as making sure students achieve state standards, perform well on the various standardized tests they need to take, and trying to inspire and motivate completely checked out parents to give at least one shit about the lives of their children. Tiptoeing around the issue of homosexuality isn't something that most educators have the time for these days. Hell, some days, the simple act of motivating a student to do a simple assignment on the Constitution is nearly impossible. Some are tired, some are ADHD, some are intervention, some are bored, and far too many simply don't care. Again, this all comes back to the parents of the Michael Jordan Generation expecting "The Help" to nanny their kids.

Still, it's tough not to get angry when you hear people like Barb Anderson, the founder of No Homo Promo, Rick Santorum, or Michele Bachmann, whose district is the home to Anoka-Hennepin schools, talk about homosexuals. They sound like fucking Nazis and I'm being kind in saying that. Part of me really struggles to say that this situation is an outlier and I shouldn't take it as the norm which is more or less the reason why I wrote what I did above...to convince myself. And the times they are indeed a-changin' as most younger people don't give two shits about whether someone is gay or not so I'd do better if I thought about that more often.

But 9 kids are fucking dead and people who think that it was their "gayness" that caused it are very, very dangerous people. Gay people used to be subjected to asylums and electro-shock therapy. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali said, "To be tolerant of intolerance is cowardice." Howard Stern expands on this point in this clip.



It's times like this when I have to have patience and remember that one of my biggest heroes is the non-violent Dr. King.

And that people like Barb Anderson, as history has always shown us, end up in a fucking bunker somewhere.