The Bully Backlash: How the Christian Right Is Attacking Efforts to Help Kids
Even as states and schools try to put in place anti-bullying policies, the Christian right is mobilizing to undo them.
For four years at his Tennessee high school, Jacob Rogers was bullied for being gay. He repeatedly appealed to school administrators for help, but didn't get much. Around Thanksgiving of last year, it got so bad that he quit going to school. In early December, not long after turning 18, he killed himself.
Jacob, who lived with his grandmother, left her with passwords to his phone and email accounts, so that she and investigators might understand why he chose to take his own life.
In the recently released film Bully, filmmaker Lee Hirsch reminds us just how much cruelty young people are capable of displaying toward one another. The documentary records the grief and the determination of the parents of Ty, a boy who committed suicide at the age of 11, as they fight to change the system that served their son so poorly. It follows Alex, who faces daily torment on the school bus. And it tells the story of Kelby, a one-time star athlete in Tuttle, Oklahoma, who comes out as a lesbian – only to be kicked out of the school sports team amid an outpouring of hate.
Thirteen million children are bullied every year, says Hirsch. According to the American Psychological Association, approximately "40% to 80% of school-age children experience bullyingat some point during their school careers." Suicides like Jacob's take place somewhere in America every single month. According to a Yale University study, children who are bullied are two to nine times more likely to end their own lives. Kids are bullied for all sorts of reasons: for being fat, shy, poor, rich and for no reason at all, although everyone familiar with the phenomenon knows that sexual orientation is a common excuse. [continue]
Thanks for posting this article. It's time those of us concerned to stop bullying in schools knew who was defending antisocial behavior.
Hear, hear! To be blunt, the hate groups are advocating "better dead than gay". This illuminates the true quality of some of the "moral compasses" out there.
Thanks for the post Dallas. Bullying needs to be addressed and dealt with. I've experienced bullying so I understand what they are going through. It's really tough .. especially for a kid.