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Opine Needles

The Blog


Today we leave politics aside and take a detour into the land of bullies. In the past few months, the main stream media has focused on four core issues:

–election day,

–the economy,

–terrorism, and


Yes, it seems bullying ranks right up there with Al Qaeda in terms of its threat to the American people. The National Security Advisor doesn’t know whether to move it from an orange to a red alert.

A recent study has determined that children bully each other. Stop the presses! Surely the data points for this study must have been flawed. We all know that people have always been so nice to each other, and kids are never mean. Right?

My friends, this bullying nonsense is a product of our litigious, blameless, faultless society; a leftist progressive agenda to change our social mores. If my child is emotionally distraught, it is someone else’s fault. If someone is picking on my child, the institutions surrounding my child are responsible. It’s not my job to deal with the problem; the school, church, or synagogue need to manage the issue. Call 911. Sue somebody….anybody.

My kids attend a private school in Houston. Last year the school made the news across the US (and in the UK for that matter) as a coalition of parents rose up and said “NO MAS” to the PC leftist agenda that has infected so many of America’s academic institutions. The issues were myriad and too lengthy to review in this blog. Suffice to say, the school had lost its way, and the parental cup of angst had finally spilled over. A cathartic period of hand wringing self analysis resulted. While views of the end result vary, the general consensus is that the school resolved to embrace some of its core traditions that it had slowly (and seemingly quite resolutely) been purging in the name of political correctness.

One of the issues that had become a poster child for the school’s intrusive invasion into the personal lives of its students involved bullying. There were a number of cases where the school acted arbitrarily and (arguably) capriciously in its efforts to punish what it perceived to be bullying behavior.In some cases, punishments were exacted for off campus incidents. There was no due process. There were rushes to judgement, so examples could be made of children to make a larger point.

But what have we wrought? Since when do our schools assume the role of Big Brother? And why do some parents sanction this behavior? This is a reflection of how much the lives of so many Americans have been institutionalized.

When I was bullied as a child, I did one of two things:

–if the bully was smaller than I, it was a fairly easy process.

–if the bully was bigger, the solution was more subtle. I had to figure out how to survive! And ultimately, I had to figure out how to make the bully irrelevant. And therein lies what has been lost in today’s world. Dealing with bullies is preparation for the real world.

It seems school officials, politicians, media, and many parents have forgotten that bullying has always been and forever will be a reality on the stage of human development. To learn to deal with bullying is to learn how to deal with life. Bullying never stops! It just manifests itself in different ways.

If an event takes place on school grounds, it’s the school’s business. If a student or parent complains to a school official about the behavior of another student, (and uses Facebook-for instance- as “evidence”) it becomes the school’s business. But the school has NO business searching for such controversy, as has been the case in the past.

I’m going to focus again on politics. This stuff makes politics seem simple!!