Against Ending Bullying: The Hit List

This listing includes groups and individuals that have come out against using anti-bullying teaching/curricula in schools.  School districts that have failed to respond to bullying complains are also listed.

National

  • Focus on the Family’s TrueTolerance.org. “Concerned about homosexual advocacy in your child’s school? You’ve come to the right place. TrueTolerance.org helps you respond in a loving and fact-based way. Click the links below for tips on communicating with your school officials.”

By state

  • In Colorado, GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck lends authority to the perception of homosexuality as a choice and a disease. Fuel for anyone who wants justification for harassing gay people.
  • The Minnesota Family Council: against anti-bullying curriculum in schools; claims that LGBT students who kill themselves because of bullying did it to themselves because of an “unhealthy lifestyle.” You can email the Minnesota Family Council at mail@mfc.org. Here is the spokesman for the Council speaking on Anderson Cooper.
  • Also in Minnesota, the Parents Action League apparently would rather see children die than see them be safe and treated kindly. You can contact the Parents Action League here.
  • In New York, Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl P. Paladino calls for children not to be “brainwashed” into thinking that homosexuality is OK, and states that “That’s not how God created us.”
  • In Ohio, the Mentor district, where four children have committed suicide because of bullying, two families are suing the district, and the district refuses to comment or to provide information about its anti-bullying policies.
  • In Texas, the Alief ISD (Houston) sues an autism family for filing for due process.
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8 Responses to Against Ending Bullying: The Hit List

  1. Pingback: Minnesota group blames LGBT victims who committed suicide because of bullying | End the Bullying

  2. UnblinkingEye says:

    Nice blog and I support your effort. However, The “Hit List” does seem a bit disingenous. You claim that the ParentsActionLeague “would rather see children die than see them be safe and treated kindly.” Can you offer supporting evidence for this assertion? The ParentsActionLeague website clearly states they support The District 11 Bullying Prohibition Policy: “Bullying of any kind, for any reason, towards any child must NOT be tolerated.” TrueTolerance.org are equally clear in their support for zero tolerance of any bullying targeted at any child, regardless of the cause.

    It is true that these organizations take issue with some of curriculum being advocated that clearly goes beyond a straight-forward anti-bullying message. For example, in GLSEN’s book Queer 13, there are graphic descriptions of a young boy’s interactions with men in a public restroom. Because I don’t want my children reading that kind of material, do you honestly think I would “rather see children die than be treated kindly”? There are other examples, including the GLSEN book Full Spectrum, intended for kids as young as elementary school, which has very derisive depictions of religious believers including Catholics, Jews, and Mormons.

    I totally concur that the recent comments by the Minnoseta Family Council spokesman (which you mention above) are incredibly hurtful and counterproductive. But there is more nuanced middle ground here and outlandish comments from either side (including the statement above that people would rather see children die than be safe and treated kindly) will do nothing to further the cause of ending bullying.

    I do wish you luck.

  3. UnblinkingEye says:

    If the Parents Action League has no stated desire intent for children to die, then why do you make the statement that “The Parents Action League would rather see children die than see them be safe and treated kindly”? When it comes to bullying, I honestly believe there is enormous common ground that needs to be seized upon, but that kind of inflammatory hyperbole is in my opinion counter-productive to that end.

    With regards to the neutrality policy — that you allegde “prohibits teachers from expressing a conviction in support of gay students, which might be useful when, say, mediating a bullying situation involving just that” — consider the following: “In a prepared statement, the school district said the neutrality policy is about encouraging faculty and staff to intervene when they see students being harassed. The district states it has made extensive efforts to eliminate hostile environments in classrooms, citing existing harassment, bullying and discipline policies. The district noted Superintendent Dennis Carlson has talked with teachers about not tolerating bullying and harassment of gay students.” In 2009, in fact, when teachers in the the district were accused of making harrasing a student based on a presumed sexual orientation, the district paid $25,000 to the families, placed the teachers on unpaid leave, and forced them to undergo sensitivity training. (http://www.twincities.com/north/ci_16190861?nclick_check=1)

    Furthermore, while the ‘neutrality policy’ has created some uncertainty amongst teachers (as would any policy), the superintendent clarified in the very link you cite above: “”If a gay student comes to a teacher, they should be confident that they can be supportive of that student,” Carlson said.

    Is the situation perfect in the district? Of course not. Is there room for considerable improvement, including in in support of gay or lesbian students? Undoubtedly. But some seem to suggest that if you don’t accept for your children GLSEN literature and cirriculum without question, then you somehow don’t care about the feelings of those being bullied or only support ineffective anti-bullying measures or would rather see kids die. That just isn’t true and the reality is more complex.

    You hear stories about children being suspended for prolonged periods for bringing toy guns to school. How about a zero tolerance anti-bullying policy with the same kind of teeth, regardless of whom is being targeted and regardless of the reason.

    • ejwillingham says:

      Clearly, it is hyperbole for the sake of effect, a common and acceptable writing device. I have read about the Parents Action League, and their tactics strike me as simply an effort to apply their morality to one of the most bullied populations in a school. I have not commented on the curriculum you mention, as I have not seen it. Reality is complex, and there is a concept in the Internet world of the “concern troll,” in which a person posts with a statement of support qualified with “concerns,” and it is the concerns that reveal the poster’s genuine intent. The Parents Action League behaves as a concern troll by prima facie advocating for “neutrality,” which is a great word, while in reality, as stated in that article: “PAL had previously said on its website that it advocates for reparative therapy for homosexuals and supported efforts by Exodus International to bring the Day of Truth to schools in the district.” That simply promotes hatred against this oft-targeted group of children, and it clearly reveals the group’s true motives.

  4. UnblinkingEye says:

    True, hyperbole is a common and acceptable writing device. I am a parent who is concerned about bullying and who is starting to pay attention to the issue more and investigating resources. As a newcomer to your website, I must admit the statement above about PAL wasn’t immediately obvious to me to be intended as hyperbole. Perhaps I take things too literally. That said, there does seem to be considerable vitriol in the culture war debates on all sides. I am grateful for the work you are doing here and will continue to follow.

    • ejwillingham says:

      I did go in an add “apparently.” Sarcasm can be difficult to get across in black and white; I may have misused “clearly” in my previous comment, as it obviously wasn’t clear to you. Thank you for your comments and feel free to contribute links for information and resources if you find them.

  5. Pingback: Paladino drives the homophobic hate bus in NY | End the Bullying

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