A step to improve anti-bullying curricula By Karen Schroeder
State governments have wasted millions of dollars creating and implementing anti-bullying curriculums destined for failure because institutionally accepted bullying occurs in most political, social, and educational institutions. To limit bullying, legislation must include anti-bullying standards for role models and leadership of the very institutions required to implement the anti-bullying curriculums.
School libraries set the intellectual and social tone of the school. Librarians include literature that recognizes contributions made to America by every race, religion, culture, and life-style-choice. Current-events materials may include everything from Mother Jones to Newsweek, but one typically will not see a conservative magazine such as The Weekly Standard or National Review. Censorship is an aggressive form of bullying.
A Wisconsin teacher brought his fourth graders to the state capitol and encouraged them to participate in the anti-Governor Walker protests. When this instructor encouraged his students to protest against a Governor whom their parents support, he was using intimidation to bully young children. Fortunately, most teachers use better judgment.
When a student is met with derision in health class after claiming an intention to practice abstinence, that is bullying. The instructor who condones the mockery and/or participates becomes a bully. Children who pressure their peers to abandon their values with the false statement that “everybody does it” are bullying others.
When students are required to view Al Gore’s mistake-ridden movie Inconvenient Truth but are not required to view Cool It, the school system bullies those students while ignoring its responsibility to teach critical thinking skills and research techniques. Limiting resource materials is a form of bullying.
When movies or school textbooks ignore the truth that America is a republic and falsely state that America is a Democracy, and when school systems bully our children into accepting falsehoods as truth, legislators and parents must take a stand.
To control bullying in schools, policies must include well-defined examples of bullying, well-defined consequences for bullying, and clear standards applicable to adults as well as to students. Once that has been accomplished, legislators must examine curriculum core standards to ascertain that standards are fact-based and scientifically sound, that data is replicable, and that the content encourages respect for traditions that have served the American people well for over 200 years. Those traditions protect our right to practice any religion or life-style and must protect those who value a republic, who choose abstinence, and who wish to evaluate all sides of any given issue.
Karen Schroeder, Rice Lake
President of Advocates for Academic Freedom