Category Archive 'Bullying'

12 Mar 2011

Major New Federal Schoolyard Initiative

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Tom Brown demonstrates the correct approach to the problem of bullying.

The Daily Caller reports on the Obama Administration’s latest initiative to apply federal oversight to children’s speech and social interaction.

Roughly 150 various advocates — lobbyists for gays and lesbians, legislators, White House officials, at least one cabinet secretary and the first lady — gathered around President’s Obama’s bully pulpit in the White House Thursday to cheer for increased government monitoring and intervention in Facebook conversations, in playgrounds and in schoolrooms around the country.

No officials at the televised East Room roll-out of the White House’s anti-bullying initiative suggested any limits to government intervention against juvenile physical violence, social exclusion or unwanted speech. None mentioned the usefulness to children of unsupervised play. None suggested there were any risks created by a government program to enforce children’s approval of other children who are unpopular, overweight, or who declare themselves to be gay, lesbians or transgender.

“It breaks our hearts to think that any child feels afraid every day in the classroom, on the playground, or even online,” first lady Michelle Obama said.

“We’re going to prevent bullying and create an environment where every single one of our children can thrive,” the president said, as he announced a series of government actions intended to fund, guide and pressure state and local officials to adopt regulations and programs that would shield children from insults or social-exclusion as well as from physical harm.


Ken Sweeney responds at Ricochet, quoting Jim Geraghty in NRO’s email newsletter Morning Jolt.

I thought [Jim Geraghty’s observation, “Liberals want to eradicate bullying. Conservatives want to raise kids strong enough to handle it.”] encapsulates the entire left versus right debate perfectly. (Reminds me of the old adage: Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach the man HOW to fish, you feed him for a lifetime). President Obama’s show and tell at the White House on bullying was sad and pathetic. But this mindset goes beyond the specific topic of bullying. It is the mindset that you can perfect mankind and create a utopia through government action, not 300 million individuals taking responsibility for their lives.

    [B]ullies stop being a problem when their victims have enough inner strength to refuse to accept it, and to stand up for themselves. Teachers, principles, authority figures — it’s great when they are there and witness bullying and are there to mete out justice. But anybody who’s been bullied knows that the eyes and ears of authority are not all-seeing and all-hearing. At that point, it’s up to you. But instead, there seems to be a belief in the White House that with enough conferences, enough best-practices discussions, enough Department of Education pamphlets and pilot programs, that somehow the federal government can end a social phenomenon that has existed as long as there have been children and teenagers.

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