Thursday, September 10, 2015

Anti-Bullying Day is a Crock of Shit

Today, as we do every September, I dressed my kids in pink and sent them to school to stand with their peers and recite a pledge not to be a bully, not to stand by while others get bullied, to care for one another and generally not be little assholes to each other. Aww. Nice right?

It's all good, in theory. And I'm sure the warm fuzzy feelings that float among their pink-clad selves will last at least until the end of the day, everyone on high alert to recognize "bullying" and stop it in it's tracks. Of course bullying is wrong and I whole-heartedly support every effort to put an end to it.

Here's the thing: the bullies don't give a crap about any of this. They are the kids who will continue to be little assholes regardless of how much pink everyone wears. They're not suddenly going to have an attack of conscience and decide "Hey, you know they're right... bullying DOES hurt. My bad". No.

Never mind the fact that we are raising a generation of kids who don't even really know what "bullying" IS. They see kids picking on kids, or being rude or obnoxious, or shoving a kid in the lunch line, or sticking their tongue out at a kid who they don't like, and they run to tell. Guess what -- that's not bullying. If your kid has ever legitimately been bullied, you know that's not it. But our kids think this is bullying. The term bullying has come to mean any time a kids does something unsavory to another kid. "Johnny grabbed Jennie's pencil out of her hand. He's a bully". That's not it, people.

no bully zone

But, I digress. My point is, the whole Anti-Bullying Day and the pledge and all the pink in the world won't make today's asshole kids suddenly NOT asshole kids tomorrow. They are the ones who won't get it. They are the ones who are probably getting bullied themselves. They likely have an asshole dad or older brothers or gym teacher or whoever in their lives who is constantly picking on them, taunting them, belittling them... so guess what? They are the ones who turn around and do it to the kids around them. Of course they do. What else do they know? Why would we expect any different?

The so-called "bullies" aren't the problem... it's the one who made them this way who are the problem. And no amount of chanting and cheering in a school assembly is going to change that.

Do I think kids should step up and say something when they see another kid being bullied? Of course I do! Should they take action and step in when kids need it? YES! Do I think the one day of wearing pink and school assemblies will do a damn thing to curb this behaviour? Absolutely not.

So, I will dress my kids in pink for one day every September, and I will high five them when they tell me about the pledge and how bullying is wrong and we all need to work together to stop it. And I'll tuck them in their beds at night knowing nothing will be different tomorrow, because the assholes who wore pink today will still be assholes tomorrow, in a different coloured shirt, and they're just going to have to figure out how to deal with them.

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