Originally in American Thinker, May 5, 2011
By Chuck Rogér
More and more “anti-bullying” stories are showing up all the time. In recent weeks, I have discussed efforts shepherded by the Obamas, taken up by Congress, driven by the U.S. Department of Education, and enacted within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Each case illustrates an instance in which government is trying to eliminate, by decree, a behavior that has lived in dogs, cats, cute little gerbils, the fishes of the sea, and humans since the dawn of animal species.
There are two common threads in the bullying stories that I have reported. First, starry-eyed bureaucrats seem to make the assumption that bullying can actually be eliminated. A follow-on assumption appears to be that government bureaucrats and consultants can do a better job than parents at teaching children how to deal with bullying.
We’ve seen Santa Fe, New Mexico call on “restorative justice” in efforts to “bully-proof” schools. Now we learn that a Chicago public school has turned to a teacher mediation program that uses techniques based on “social justice.” Teachers must attend a Roosevelt University class titled, “Navigating Peace: Exploring Bullying, Conflict and Social Justice Issues in Education.”
It will come as a surprise to most people that stopping bullies is a matter of administering “social justice.” But the use racially- and class-divisive tactics probably surprises fewer and fewer teachers nowadays. In Eagle Forum’s Education Reporter, Robert Holland and Don Soifer report that the National Association of Scholars found “modern social-work education” rife with social justice indoctrination. The NAS determined that in the education community “social justice” usually
…equates with the advocacy of more egalitarian access to income through state-sponsored redistribution. The phrase is also frequently used to justify new egalitarian rights for individuals and whole categories of people-i.e., legally enforceable claims of individuals or groups against the state itself.
So are social justice-based anti-bullying techniques about stopping bullies, or about teaching kids special ways of treating “whole categories of people?”
In the Roosevelt University class, teachers are being instructed to help bullies and victims “understand their feelings.” Level-headed people have little doubt as to how things will turn out when twenty-three-year old Ms. Smith counsels seventeen-year-old Mack the Knife with advice that sounds something like, “Go inside yourself, Mack. Feel the ugliness of your urge to do violence to little Joey.”
How far does utterly insane liberalism have to go before parents wake up, indeed before America shouts, “Enough!”?