In The Dirty Thirty, Hrafnkell Haraldsson says,

The War on Anti-Bullying Laws

The Republican Party maintains that the true victims of bullying are the bullies themselves. Anti-bullying law have been called “a Trojan Horse to sneak [homosexual activists'] special rights agenda into law” (the Michigan Family Association), would “promote acceptance of homosexuality.” (Minnesota Family Council) or that “bullying prevention is being “hijacked by activists” who are “politicizing or sexualizing the issue” (Focus on the Family). Apparently, however, it’s quite all right for religious activists to hijack bullying prevention. Currently, 47 states have anti-bullying laws.

o   In November 2011, the Michigan State Senate passed a “license to bully” bill (SB 137) which allows bulling by hose who have a “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.” In full:  “This section does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil and parent or guardian.” The language was eventually stripped from the bill.

o   A similar attempt to okay religious-based bullying is now underfoot in Tennessee, which is promoting its own “license to bully” bill, HB 1153: “‘Creating a hostile educational environment’ shall not be construed to include discomfort and unpleasantness that can accompany the expression of a viewpoint or belief that is unpopular, not shared by other students, or not shared by teachers or school officials.” The bill goes on to say that  “The policy shall not be construed or interpreted to infringe upon the First Amendment rights of students and shall not prohibit their expression of religious, philosophical, or political views; provided, that such expression does not include a threat of physical harm to a student or damage to a student’s property.” The bill’s agenda is made abundantly clear by the following:”Harassment, intimidation, or bullying prevention task forces, programs, and other initiatives formed by school districts, including any curriculum adopted for such purposes, shall not include materials or training that explicitly or implicitly promote a political agenda, make the characteristics of the victim the focus rather than the conduct of the person engaged in harassment, intimidation, or bullying, or teach or suggest that certain beliefs or viewpoints are discriminatory when an act or practice based on such belief or viewpoint is not a discriminatory practice as defined in 4-21-102(4).”

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As I read this, it's not bullying unless physical threats or property damage can be proved. Any other insults, ridicule, verbal violence, or intimidation are just fine, even condoned by the legislature, never mind that they're organized and perpetrated by large groups against an individual. That doesn't count as a hostile environment.

Tags: politics of bullying

Views: 37

Replies to This Discussion

So ... bullying victims can be demeaned, ridiculed and ostracized to the point where they feel worthless and suicidal, and those taking the action bear no responsibility for them.  Yeah, that sounds like the Republican party, all right.

it sure does Loren

It seems like they are making it really hard to even prove that bullying has occurred.

Oh, for shame! I knew there was a reason I couldn't stand Republicans! If I lived in Tennessee or wherever...honestly, I'd probably be suicidal by now.

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