CBN News posted a story today about a recent anti-bullying presentation at Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook, New York. I would like to go on the record to say that I oppose bullying. I do wonder why it seems to have become such a major problem in our schools in recent years. Back in the age of dinosaurs (the 1950’s and 1960’s) we had bullies too, but somehow it didn’t seem to be as much of an issue. Has the concept of conflict resolution caused us to forget how to deal with a bully? I don’t consider myself a violent person, but I have learned that the only successful way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him. Evidently our schools are suggesting an alternative approach.
The article at CBN reports:
The workshop for 13 and 14-year-old girls focused on homosexuality and gender identity. They were also taught words such as “pansexual” and “genderqueer.”
Parents say their daughters were told to ask one another for a kiss and they say two girls were told to stand in front of the class and pretend they were lesbians on a date.
“She told me, ‘Mom we all get teased and picked on enough. Now I’m going to be called a lesbian because I had to ask another girl if I could kiss her,'” parent, Mandy Coon, told reporters.
What in the world does this have to do with how to deal with a bully? Parents of the students who attended the workshop were not warned in advance or given the opportunity to opt out of the workshop.
The article further reports:
Superintendent Paul Finch told The Poughkeepsie Journal the presentation was “focused on improving culture, relationships, communication and self-perceptions.”
“We may require more notification to parents in the future,” Finch said.
He claimed the sessions are required under the state Dignity for All Students Act, which prohibits harassment and bullying in the classroom.
I would have no problem with teaching the students to report bullying incidents so that the school administration can deal with the bully involved. I would have no problem with teaching the students how to ignore bullying and encouraging all students to be kinder to each other. I would have no problem teaching students interpersonal problem-solving skills that would help end the bullying. I do, however, fail to see how making two young ladies kiss in front of the classroom relates to education. There is a reason parents are fleeing the public schools in favor of home schooling and private schools. This sort of behavior on the part of school administrators is part of that reason.