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Beyond Politics: Bullying

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A picture of bullying.
Bullying is causing an epidemic of mental health issues and suicide among our youth.

GOProud is a group that was formed by two former staffers of The Log Cabin Republicans, which is the Republican LGBT Caucus. GOProud felt that The Log Cabin Republicans were "too moderate."

Recently I was doing research on different LGBT Caucuses of different parties. While reading what GOProud stood for, I came across where they believed that what would help with bullying (particularly of LGBT youth) isn't more money or more government intervention, but more school choice, and the choice of parents to home-school their children.

A few hours after reading that, I wrote the following as a response:

"The problem, GOProud, is that school choice isn't the answer to bullying. But let's be fair, money pits aren't either. If I had been sent to a private school in northwest Georgia, where I live, I would have been bullied just as much if not worse. And my school had all of those laminated anti-bullying posters -- that's the money pit! And it doesn't work. It doesn't work because teachers, administrators and janitors would turn a blind eye. For lack of a better term, it was Anarchy -- there was no governmental system.

"As students we formed collectives and lived or died by those collectives. When it comes to bullying in schools, LGBT or otherwise, we need to stop politicizing the issue. It comes down to, 'who cares?' Do the people who work at the school care enough to stop it? Do the parents care enough to teach their kids not to bully? I'm tired of the rhetoric, and I'm sure you've heard it before -- 'what if that was your child' or 'what if that was you?'

"This goes beyond rhetoric and politics. You should do it because you care and because you're decent, and you shouldn't do it for any other reason. For the people who work at the schools and on buses, if you won't do it because it's your job, then do it as a decent human being. As philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson put it, you are morally required to be a 'Minimally Decent Samaritan.' (As opposed to the Good Samaritan mentioned in the Christian Parable.)"

This goes beyond politics. Bullying in schools can lead to life-long battles with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses, and all too often suicide. (See some of the bullying statistics below.) Believe it or not, Lady Gaga pretty much gets it right. She says it isn't the victim, it's the bully. But I would look just a little further. If we're getting at the root, let's get at the root. Not to say that we can't comfort and work with bullies who are abused at home, but parents who abuse their children need to be reprimanded and parents who teach intolerance and hatred that breeds violence need to be reprimanded. It's time kids were raised with and by tolerance and understanding.

Now is not the time to wait for Congress to write a bill. Now is not the time to wait for your school board to decide. Now is the time to act. It's time to stop turning a blind eye. Now is not the time for politics. It's time for people to do the right thing. I grew up in the type of environment where bullies were a simple problem with simple solutions -- the idea being that if you stand up to them, then they'll leave you alone. I also grew up with the impression that depression was a new-age hippie liberal problem, and that it was all mind over matter. ("If you don't mind, it don't matter.")

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But despite all of this, bullying -- its causes and its consequences -- are all very important.

Emotional bullying may be more prevalent now then physical bullying; however, it doesn't go unseen, only unnoticed. All the signs are there.

We don't need Executive Orders or Hollywood movies, we each carry great capacities on our own, we just need to learn to not only be active, but to be proactive instead of reactive.

Statistics:

One in four kids will be bullied sometime throughout their adolescence.

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Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people.

For every suicide there are at least 1,000 attempts.

LGBT youth are two to three times more likely to commit teen suicide than other youths.

About 30% of all successful youth suicides have been related to sexual identity crisis.

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http://www.longhairedpoet.blogspot.com

I am a now 20 year old College student. According to PoliticalCompass.org I am an Anarcho-Collectivist which is something I strongly agree with. However I have a strong fascination with electoral politics. I guess I hope that one day they will (more...)
 

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As an elementary teacher for twenty years, I saw a... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jul 5, 2012 at 1:45:09 PM
are bullied at home. Older brothers, brutish fathe... by molly cruz on Saturday, Jul 7, 2012 at 12:15:08 PM