Day by day, moment by moment, our ethically incompetent schools inculcate the wrong values in our young, undoing centuries of American traditions and unraveling the unique character that made the United States the hope of the world.
When he witnessed another student at Chicago’s Elmwood Park High School beginning to bully a smaller, weaker colleague, high school athlete Mark Rivera pulled the aggressor aside and said something in the manner of “Do that again, and you’ll have to deal with me, got it?” As a result, he was suspended.
The principal told reporters, “You can say stop it or leave him alone but if that doesn’t work, get an adult involved.” Ah. Object without intending to do anything to back up the objection. Do nothing, and, say, go play golf. Or leave it to someone else.
Mark Rivera is an Ethics Hero, even though, if the cultural polluters in chrage of our institutions aren’t stopped and replaced, future generations of the wan, timid, self-absorbed nation that was once the United States won’t think so.
10 thoughts on “Indocrinating Our Students With Apathy, Cowardice and Selfishness: No Wonder We Won’t Help The Ukraine…”
But Jack, we can’t have wild cowboy types running around dispensing justice as they see fit! Then it would be the wild west will little vigilantes beating up people at will!
That’s why we can’t rely on individuals to have an ethical compass to guide them to do the right thing and stand up for right without the central commissariat making the decision for them.
I nominate Jack for Ethics Czar.
Come on, Jack – we know you could do it! (But I could not blame you, if you decline the position at least until you’re picked by the next President.)
“The principal told reporters, “You can say stop it or leave him alone but if that doesn’t work, get an adult involved.”
Are these the same adults that parents go to time and again for assistance prior to the bullied child’s suicide attempt or success because he/she cannot take it anymore. What exactly would the adult do? The bully knows the adult cannot do much because they are adults. Conversely, the fear of the expected but unknown consequence is a powerful disincentive to bullies.
Part of the socialization process schools are supposed to perform happens in the schoolyard by the students themselves. We call it experiential learning. If kid A tries to bully kid B and kid B stands up for himself Kid A learns that he may suffer a humiliating defeat or at least his actions will come at a cost to him/her. If kid B runs and tells an adult and the adult does nothing to kid A then Kid A learns he/she can continue the behavior with impunity. In this case, kid C came to the aid of kid B and gets suspended for doing so. The bully (kid A) learns he/she has allies in the system to protect him from those that can actually beat the crap out of him and his pattern of behavior continues unabated. As kid A gets older the level of violence against others will escalate. So unless the adult has the power to actually cause some real immediate harm to kid A for his behavior then seeking out an adult will reinforce the bully’s behavior.
” The bully (kid A) learns he/she has allies in the system to protect him from those that can actually beat the crap out of him and his pattern of behavior continues unabated.”
Not necessarily, perhaps he learns that kid C has a posse. And that once off the school grounds, the rules are different.
Why do I say this is a possibility?
So it is OK for the bully to have adult allies who will protect the bully when someone stops him from bullying behavior but it is not OK for someone to come to the aid of the bully’s victim? You had to misunderstand what I was trying to communicate or you are advocating sanctioned bullying.
Where the hell were the adults when the bullying took place and just how did they find out about the athlete’s semi-heroic actions? Did the bully complain to the administrators that he was threatened by the athlete? How exactly do they know what the athlete said to the bully? Were they there? If so, why did they not step in themselves.
The kids applauded him. Who is “him” the school official or Rivera? If it was Rivera, as I suspect, it was because they were willing to stand behind a leader. Kids look for guidance and leadership. If they applauded the athlete for this it is apparent that the children have no confidence in the school administrators to protect them from bullies.
If that is the case kid C learned that by stepping in to aid someone vulnerable will be met with cheers then he will repeat the behavior when necessary. Maybe the administrators were upset that all their intervention training was upstaged by a mere child’s basic instinctive good actions which is why the athlete was punished. There is no indication that kid C will use this event to become a bully himself. Nor is there any indication that it will escalate further.
If it was the school official they were applauding, were they (the students) applauding that it is great to be able to pick on another kid and if anyone intervenes the intervener will be punished? I doubt that even the most dysfunctional school administrator would want that lesson learned. Why do we assume that all adults will address the issue appropriately and no child can? Seems to me rather an immature and insecure sentiment on the part of adults.
You said that “he” (who is he) learns that kid C has a “posse”. Kid C was a known school athlete and not a gang member as you suggest. I find your knee jerk disagreement specious. You made assumptions based on no objective well documented behavioral tendencies of children regarding kids A, B or C. Furthermore, you failed to draw any conclusions about kid A (the bully) and any adult punishment that was meted out upon him that changed kid A’s long term behavior . Given there were no facts presented for that matter on any punishment of the bully himself, I assumed that the bully escaped any disciplinary action for the precipitating behavior.
In reference to your assumption about kid C having a posse. And that once off the school grounds, the rules are different. Gangs are a direct result of FAILED adults that neither protect or lead children appropriately. Children seek to belong to gangs for protection and acceptance. Their naiveté allows them to be exploited by unscrupulous gang leaders that use them as expendable resources. They use these children as a shield for their own criminal activities in exchange for protection and a sense of family. I am well read on this subject having worked with young adults caught up in the criminal justice system.
The only inference that I can draw from the statement that the rules are different off school grounds is that the violence may escalate resulting in greater harm. This means that you would recommend a person should ignore the plight of others when the possibility exists that you might open yourself up to defending yourself against a larger group and you should simply run away tell someone in authority. By then the event is over, the victim is embarrassed or fearful of a worse event if he testifies. Bullies predate on the weaker when the expected consequence of the behavior is minimal. Such a philosophy is why evil people are highly successful – it is the fundamental basis for being able to terrorize people. Relying on others in authority to take action, coupled with an unwillingness to assist is why gang crime is on the rise.
Had neither a peer nor an adult stepped in to provide kid B some limited protection it is quite probable that kid B would eventually seek out gang membership for protection – BECAUSE THAT IS WHY THEY JOIN GANGS IN THE FIRST PLACE – or escape the bullying by jumping off a cement plant tower.
If we’re lucky Kid A just ends up an insurance salesman. Then again there are congressmen like Peter King…
This is why most anti-bullying efforts just make things worse for kids getting bullied. You have to ask yourself, “Who are the bullies?”. They are either kids with nothing to lose (“Suspend me from school? Great, no more school!”) or kids who can get away with it because their parents are important. When the bullies are influential, you will get no help from the school. If you complain that such a kid is bullying you, he is just going to turn around and say that YOU are bullying THEM. Who is the principal going to believe, the nobody or the star quarterback and son of a local businessman?
So what hope does a bullied person have in today’s school system? They aren’t allowed to fight back, they won’t get help from the school, they aren’t allowed to get away from their attackers because going to school is mandatory, and anyone who dares try to help them will be severely punished. How much does it take to drive a child to the breaking point?
There is the problem, right there. The solution is simple: make school attendance discretionary.
To deny young people the right to self defense is to deny them a vital ingredient of character and citizenship in a free nation.