Disturbing Bully Talk
One of the things I’ve read a lot about the past week is how Focus on Family has inserted itself into discussions at some school boards about bullying. Here’s the disturbing part: Focus on Family is all for anti-bullying programs, as long as the programs don’t tell students that it’s wrong to bully gay students because that’s the same as saying that being gay is okay.
Well, of course being gay is okay and I get that Focus on Family isn’t going to admit to that any day soon.
It’s shocking that a family-based organization doesn’t seem to support stopping all bullying. The Focus on Family website has a whole page on how to take care of your child if they are being bullied. However, behind the scenes with schools they seem to want distinctions made because they fear a “gay agenda” at work simply because a gay group (GLSEN) is at the forefront of trying to help schools craft policies to help all kids who are victims of a bully. Check out this article from the August 29 Denver Post, “Focus on Family says anti-bullying efforts in schools push gay agenda,” as well as a great editorial from the Aurora Sentinel, “The real bullies at Focus on the Family.”
In the Denver Post piece Focus on the Family education expert Candi Cushman says that Focus supports bullying prevention… “But this issue is being hijacked by activists. They shouldn’t be politicizing or sexualizing the issue of bully prevention.”
Strange, that sounds exactly like what Focus on Family is doing by trying to draw a distinction between bullying that’s acceptable and bullying that’s not. That doesn’t strike me as a very Christian or family-oriented view point at all.
Bullying–regardless of it’s based on sexual orientation, race, family income level, religious preference, body type or something frivolous like what kind of music someone likes–should be stopped.
The right answer is for a zero-tolerance policy. That there’s even a question around what the policy should be is just plain sad.