Posted: 12/04/13 23:32
by Dave Mindeman
When you adopt an organization name - The Minnesota Child Protection League - why would you oppose an anti-bullying bill?
Well, your public persona points to "unfunded mandates" or a "potential loss of independent, local authority" -- which is what the MN GOP likes to put out there as well.
But another reason surfaced via the League's Program Director, Mimi Anderson.....
"We just legalized a new definition of marriage and now they have to normalize it. How are they going to normalize it when those of us who have religion .... and are teaching our kids to follow a natural, normal order of things, how are they going to normalize it?
"They are going to have to normalize it through the school system," she told the group. "That same-sex marriage bill was just the precursor for what they really want. These students will be using a curriculum that is sexually explicit, morally offensive and physically unsafe."
Huh...touch of bigotry maybe?
You know, bullying has a lot of forms. I was bullied as a kid. I was 7 years old and went to school in a very small township schoolhouse that had to get drinking water from the well at a nearby farm. When I was in the second grade, the teacher paired me up with a 7th grade guy to take a turn in a rotation to retrieve that water. I was too little to be of much help, but the policy was to go in pairs.
I had a winter of sheer terror in the eyes of a 2nd grader. This 7th grader enjoyed inflicting pain. He would push me down in the snow, drag me around and (my personal favorite) would take corn cobs from a pile near the well and pelt me with them relentlessly. And then he would get in my face and threaten awful things if I told anybody about what was going on. It went on for a few months -until he started throwing those corn cobs at my face and left marks. My mother forced it out of me and the horrified teacher did what she could to correct the problem.
My second grade world was turned upside down and I can't look back upon that time without some pain. That 7th grader never got to high school - he ended up in a reformatory. And as an adult, he spent some time in prison. Didn't matter much to me - I just wanted to forget.
Bullying has become something different to a lot of Republicans. It is "code" for a "gay agenda". Trouble with that is that bullied kids aren't thinking about "agendas". They just want a normal life.
Yes, this bill (which has already passed the House) is a complicated one. There are a lot people to account for and protect. First and foremost, you have to find safety for kids that are bullied. Second, you have to give parents an opportunity to weigh in and be part of any solution. Third, you have to clearly define policies for the teachers, so they know exactly what to do and who to report to. A proper bill will have a lot of puzzle pieces. But it just has to be.
And yes, it will cost the school districts some additional money, but how much value do you place on the safety of your kid? You have the NRA spouting off about a police officer in every school which would cost enormous sums, with little guarantee of any result.
A bullying policy WILL have results. And it will give teachers a plan to help (and many, many of them want to).
Ms. Anderson represents a segment of Republican thought that tries very hard to make this a religious argument - its about "normal".
Well, I don't care what you classify as "abnormal", no one, and I mean absolutely no one, deserves to be bullied. It is not about agendas. It is not about budgets. It is certainly not about politics.
It is about kids. About safety. About well being.
Child protection is a needed action - not an agenda.
Ms. Anderson needs to make the name of her organization worth something.