Why Does No One Care?
What Aristotle Could Have Told Us
Who Started It?
Prof. Dan Olweus, the Norwegian psychologist who conducted research on bullying in the 1970's, is known as the "father" of the anti-bully movement, and all the popular programs are based on his guidelines. In his book, "Bullying at School" (Blackwell Publishing, 1993) he calls it a "fundamental democratic principle" that "every individual should have the right to be spared oppression and repeated, intentional humiliation, in school as in society at large."
Expecting the Absurd
Let's look at the practical application of anti-bully policies in school. We're students and you pick on me. I tell the teacher. S/he says to you, "Bullying will not be tolerated. You have to be nice to people. Bully Izzy again and you'll be sent to the counselor. And if that doesn't help, you're going to be punished, even expelled." That's supposed to make you respect me and want to be nice? It will make you want to beat me up after school, or to look for an opportunity to get me in trouble with the teacher.
Do as I Say, Not as I Do
Anti-bully programs are based on the idea that bullying is a learned behavior. Just as kids have learned to be bullies, they now need to be taught how to be saints. Who, exactly, is going to teach our kids to be saints? You and I? Who do you think they could have learned bullying from in the first place?! Can we honestly tell our kids: "Learn from us how to treat people. Have you noticed how respectful we are to our spouses, and that we never get divorced? And of course we are never mean to our children. We would never say a bad word about our parents, siblings, in-laws, colleagues and bosses - not even behind their backs! We all attend the Non-Discriminatory Church of Universal Acceptance and live in peaceful, integrated neighborhoods."
This article is republished with the expressed permission of Izzy Kalman, from his website: http://bullies2buddies.com. Izzy Kalman is a nationally certified school psychologist who has specialized in helping children cope with bullying for the last 15 years. He is well published, created many programs, and created the website bullies2buddies which is full of free online resources. Izzy's mission is not to stamp out bullying, which he feels is impossible, but give kids the proper tools to deal with it.
Do you agree with Kalman that the current anti-bully laws and programs are doomed to fail?