Creating bullying victims 

What?

Did I read the White House Office of the Press Secretary release dated March 10 right? Did President Barack Obama really hold a White House conference on bullying prevention?

Indeed, he did. And in the process, he made this rather revealing assertion:

“If there’s one goal of this conference, it’s to dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up. It’s not. Bullying can have destructive consequences for our young people.



“And it’s not something we have to accept. As parents and students, teachers and communities, we can take steps that will help prevent bullying and create a climate in our schools in which all of our children can feel safe.”

So Obama would dispel one “myth” — that “bullying is just a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up” — and replace it with an even bigger myth, that the Office of the President of the United States can actually prevent bullying.

In the real world — where I live — most bullying doesn’t even occur in schools. It occurs outside our schools. Take it from me: I was practically a professional bully-ee when I was growing up.

I saw other kids bullied. We handled it as best we could — some of us by ultimately standing up to the bullies, which is really the best and sometimes only way to handle them — and without those “destructive consequences” that our president mentioned.

Later on in the news release, someone is quoted, although it’s not clear whom. Perhaps that’s for the best, because this one’s a humdinger:

“Every day, thousands of children, teens and young adults around the country are bullied. Estimates are that nearly one-third of all school-aged children are bullied each year — upward of 13 million students.

“Students involved in bullying are more likely to have challenges in school, to abuse drugs and alcohol, and to have health and mental issues. If we fail to address bullying, we put ourselves at a disadvantage for increasing academic achievement and making sure all of our students are college- and career-ready.”

A lot is wrong with this quote. First of all, no source is given for the figure of 13 million students being bullied. The phrase “students involved in bullying” is nebulous. Define “involved in.”

The ones doing the bullying? The ones being bullied? Both? What’s the source for the assertion that either or both are “more likely to have challenges in school, to abuse drugs and alcohol, and to have health and mental issues”?

In the news release was a section entitled, “Enforcing civil rights laws,” which is supposed to be one bullying-prevention tactic. It reads, “Last October, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights issued guidance ... to clarify issues of bullying, and violation of federal anti-discrimination laws. The guidance explains educators’ legal obligations to protect students from student-on-student racial and national-origin harassment, sexual and gender-based harassment, and disability harassment.”

Let’s cut to the chase here: This isn’t about preventing bullying, it’s about liberals once again trying to create a new class of victims, because not every student being bullied will be treated equally.

 

Examiner columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to Sudan.

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Gregory Kane

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Examiner columnist Gregory Kane is an award-winning journalist who lives in Baltimore.

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