Tag Archives | Schools

As More Bullying Victims Commit Suicide, Right-Wing Groups Decry Anti-Bullying Policies As ‘Gay Agenda’ Ploy

As a sort of follow up to my post yesterday, from Think Progress:

Many states across the country are taking laudable steps to enact measures that bolster administrators’ ability to protect students who face such harassment. However, despite the evidence supporting the need, right-wing lawmakers and activists insist that anti-bullying measures are nothing more than insidious tools of the “homosexual agenda”:

  • The American Family Association of Michigan has spent years decrying a proposed anti-bullying measure as “a Trojan Horse to sneak [homosexual activists’] special rights agenda into law” and to “legitimize homosexual behavior” which is “a practice scientifically proven to result in a dramatically higher incidence of domestic violence, mental illness, illegal drug use, promiscuity, life-threatening disease, and premature death.” The bill “died in 2008 in the state Senate because senators could not agree” on whether to address bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the measure.
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The Culling is Here: Is Abuse a Form of Social Control?

Amidst the recent spate of news stories about bullied youth committing suicide (at least nine in September), ScienceDaily reports:

Loners and antisocial kids who reject other children are often bullied at school — an accepted form of punishment from peers as they establish social order. Such peer victimization may be an extreme group response to control renegades, according to a new study from Concordia University published in the Journal of Early Adolescence.

“For groups to survive, they need to keep their members under control,” says author William M. Bukowski, a professor at the Concordia Department of Psychology and director of its Centre for Research in Human Development. “Withdrawn individuals threaten the strong social fabric of a group, so kids are victimized when they are too strong or too antisocial. Victimization is a reaction to anyone who threatens group harmony.”

Bukowski notes that the word victimization is related to the word for sacrifice and speculates the term remains relevant in establishing modern dynamics among kids.

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Lunch Line: The School Lunch Debate

LUNCH LINE reframes the school lunch debate through an examination of the program's surprising past, present, and possible future. Senators, Secretaries of Agriculture, entrepreneurs, and activists from all sides of the hunger and school lunch reform debates add top-down perspective to a bottom-up film about the American political process, its future health and welfare, and the realities of feeding more than 31 million children a day.
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NYC Middle Schooler Arrested For Doodling On School Desk

What exactly are kids learning in school nowadays? CNN reports on controversy over the use of police force on students for minor infractions in classrooms:

There was no profanity, no hate. Just the words, “I love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10 :)” scrawled on the classroom desk with a green marker. Alexa Gonzalez, an outgoing 12-year-old who likes to dance and draw, expected a lecture or maybe detention for her doodles earlier this month. Instead, the principal of the Junior High School in Forest Hills, New York, called police, and the seventh-grader was taken across the street to the police precinct.

Alexa’s hands were cuffed behind her back, and tears gushed as she was escorted from school in front of teachers and her classmates. “They put the handcuffs on me, and I couldn’t believe it,” Alexa recalled. “I didn’t want them to see me being handcuffed, thinking I’m a bad person.”

The case of the doodling preteen is raising concerns about the use of zero tolerance policies in schools.

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