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Rise of the Thought Police: Bullying Your Children into Forsaking Their Values

Proposed “anti-bullying” legislation creates a powerful new bureaucracy to police students' values and remediate politically incorrect beliefs.

by
Walter Hudson

Bio

September 9, 2013 - 5:00 pm
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crying little girl

Five-year-old Suzie heads off to kindergarten in rural Minnesota. She settles into her class routine full of activity, discovery, and friendship.

Then the day takes a turn. As part of newly mandated diversity training, Suzie’s teacher brings out Heather Has Two Mommies for some light mid-morning reading. A typically precocious kindergartener, Suzie pipes up during the story to correct the teacher’s telling. “God gave us a mommy and a daddy,” she exclaims.

Though no student takes exception to Suzie’s remark, the teacher cringes and becomes keenly aware of her state-mandated role to report any incident which could be construed as bullying. So Suzie gets pulled out of class and taken to the principal’s office, where she’s met by a counselor.

There begins a process of formative intervention and remedial discipline. More than correction for objectively inappropriate behavior, this intervention focuses on changing who Suzie is, on correcting her values to ensure that she accepts each of her classmates and values their diverse backgrounds.

Confused, disturbed, and teary-eyed, Suzie comes away from the experience convinced she has done something wrong. Worse, she feels the very sense of rejection which her accusers claim to deplore. She learns her lesson, that the values taught at home are not welcome in school. A bit of her innocence dies. She grows more guarded, less expressive, and unfairly subdued.

Such a tale may be among the tamest of experiences awaiting children in Minnesota, if a task force of social engineers commissioned by Governor Mark Dayton succeeds in lobbying for legislation which has already been approved by the state House. House File 826, misleadingly titled the Safe and Supportive Schools Act, serves as a trial balloon modeling what its supporters would like to implement nationally – a radical transformation of schools from institutions of academic achievement into political reeducation camps which correct Orwellian Wrong Think.

Sold colloquially as an “anti-bullying bill,” the proposed legislation actually institutionalizes bullying, targeting political minorities with suppressive badgering. The bill would repeal existing anti-bullying statutes which have proven effective. It would create an invasive, overbearing, and unfunded new state bureaucracy to impose politically correct values upon students, teachers, parents, staff, and anyone serving in or around the educational system. It would affect both public and private schools. In a state which already has one of the worst achievement gaps between white and black students in the nation, the bill would burden struggling districts with new mandates diverting precious resources away from academics. Teachers and staff will become thought police and value mediators, shifting their disciplinary focus from correcting inappropriate behavior to remediating students’ belief systems. As with any state bureaucracy, reams of new data will be generated and follow students throughout their academic career, if not the rest of their lives.

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Top Rated Comments   
I hold no brief for bullies but as soon as the national "anti-bullying" movement began to pick up steam I began to shudder. It promises to be an incredibly rich mother-lode for those social engineering types that can't wait to help "organize" peoples lives and force others to do things "for their own good." Already the anti-bullying movement is spawning a spate of administrative offices, seminars, conferences, grantsmanship and the paid gab-fests so beloved by members of the social services world. It provides another excuse for public school teachers to ignore the hard work of actually teaching kids something and instead concentrate on teaching "values and empathy."Entire bureacracies are poised to spring to life at the federal, state and local level to deal with the bullying "problem." Look for many "Assistant Regional Manager fo Anti-Bulllying Initiatives" jobs to spring up (at public expense of course.) The net result? The Nelson Muntz's of the world will still be beating up the Millhouses for their lunch money. However Nelson can be proud that he helped bring a vast industry into being. Bullying isn't a problem - It's an Opportunity!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I detest that the term "bullying" has been co-opted in this way. It used to be that it was reserved for those using, or threatening to use, violence. Everyone (except the bullies) was against that. Now apparently saying (or being) something that someone does not like is "bullying", and you are supposed to use the old definition to determine if you are for or against it. As "1984" indicated, to control people, you need to change the language.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure I follow your point. Certainly, as long as there has been public education, there has been institutionalized coercion of values. Indeed, this move by Governor Dayton in Minnesota would "pick up the pace" to say the absolute least (from half thrusters to warp speed). So... what? I'm not supposed to write about it? I'm not supposed to rally opposition? I'm supposed to give you some kind of medal for historical context?

Where have I been? Where are you on this, now? What are you doing? Get to work and save the snark for those encroaching upon our precious waning liberties.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (61)
All Comments   (61)
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I was a nurse for some 40 years. The thought police are in health care too. I was always in trouble; expected my patients to be adults.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wise parents opt out of the public schools. There are plenty of options: home school, Catholic or other Christian schools, charter schools, independent schools, or some combination thereof. High academic, cultural, and moral standards are mutually supportive. When cultural and moral standards are deliberately trashed by leftists, high academic standards cannot survive. This is why so many kids who were educated outside the public system are now getting into the best universities -- and continuing to achieve high standards because they actually know how to think.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are plenty of ignorant liberal bigots out there who believe it's okay to discriminate against decent, moral people, and which bigots are trying to impose their irrational liberal prejudices on everyone. That's reality.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
This case further gives excuse for home schooling and school choice. Political correctness is just language for put up or shut up. And the public school system is neck deep in it. As a libertarian, I'm appalled by this case.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yup. The whole multi-culti thing was from a legitimate, intelligent worldview* that the left picked up and 'used' as a club. The left can turn anything into a weapon; you have to give them that. So, absolutely, multiculturalism for decades has been used, not to add to our fundamental strength as the country was founded, but to diminish the premises upon which it was founded.

* We used to believe that the strength of our nation came from a variety of peoples and sources which, at the core of those who came here, embodied the common desire for freedom and American ideals. That belief was correct, pretty much, until some time after the Second World War. We had a helluva run though.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Take your kids out of the public schools. Then they can be free to bully whomever they like. Amazing how the language of libertarianism - "coercion", "individual rights", "liberty", "market incentives" - can be co-opted for any situation, even kids picking on other kids at school. It's a pity the Libertarians hate God.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's a joke? I would take it as a joke but then read a response that maybe it wasn't. I'll take it as a joke.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
No we don't, in fact many of us do. There are those who don't like Penn Jillete, but a great many of us do.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agree with you Walter. Thanks for adding another perspective which is not only confirmatory to parents, but also original.

Here's my take. Bullying, per se, isn't and never was the problem. There is always, and has always been, the kid who got picked on, PHYSICALLY. I was one. It stank. I figured it out. 99% of the time, we figure it out. What does that leave us with? Life, that's what. Where am I going with this?

Again, there will always be bullies, of one stripe or another. Our society hasn't declared war on bullies, it has declared war on the means of dealing with them. This comes from the same place as Gun Control but is probably more insidious because it strips away the victims perception of their human worth in the first place. Not only are you not allowed to defend yourself, you aren't worth defending.

When I was a kid, nobody was going to jump off a bridge because somebody said mean things. And we sure as hell weren't going to ask around to confirm that mean things were being said about us. Talk didn't matter. Getting your ass kicked mattered. Demonstrably the left has succeeded in diminishing the self worth of children to such an extent that some are not able to achieve affirmation absent the assent of their peers. Likewise, these kids have been put through the 'cooperation drill' so many times that they lack the wherewithal to even consider being outside the group. A kid jumps off the bridge or blows his brains out because group identity is the only identity he has. In these instances, the left has succeeded.

Rear your children so that they understand their worth. Don't kid yourself into thinking you can save other children because you can't, as the left has demonstrated; thinking you can only makes things worse. Good luck and God Bless.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
A wonderful piece of work here, Walter. As always. With the avalanche well down the hill, however, I'm afraid evacuating the Chalet is the only hope right now. Home schooling is the only sure remedy for parents actually interested in parenting. The education of children is at a Dunkirk moment. The state has shown itself to be exactly what our founders, and Tocqueville, knew it was: a temporary cure that will always turn out worse than the disease, and therefore in constant need of recalibrating until, much like a computer clogged to the gills, it must be traded in for a new one. Or, in our case, an older model designed to perform far fewer tasks at a price much easier to live with. The task of cleaning the education monolith - actually mandated by our state constitution - would make home schooling- even of a throng of street urchins laden with all the symptoms of the latest sociologically approved disorders - seem like a walk in the park. This state won't be happy until it is entirely a park; run by its progressive humanist rangers. By then, when Yogi and Boo Boo offer a prayer before lunch, you know what Boo Boo is going to say: "The Ranger isn't going to like this, Yogi." In Minnesota, Yogi will relent to Boo Boo's fears. In my humble opinion, we are already there. Vote with your feet while you can is rapidly becoming my mantra. Tick...tick...tick...
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
2 words people...home school! Problem solved.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
1st We argue philosophically and logically that this leftist policy is a bad ideal.
- They pass the bill and implement it anyway.
Second we start show concrete real life examples of the bill being bad policy.
- They'll deny it. They'll say it does more good than harm. They'll say the stories are anecdotal.
Third We will present statistics and polls, showing the harm and showing it is unpopular.
- They will dig in say we are sexists, bigots homophobes.
Fourth it will get repealed a decade or so after passage.
- They'll circle the wagons, find jobs for politicians voted out of office and submit more legislation that is new and improved.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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