I want to tell you all a story. It’s true, but for privacy’s sake, I have to withhold most of the details. A student was being tormented by a group of bullies. Another student confronted the bullies and demanded they stop. In response, one of the bullies assaulted the second student. Second student immediately punched the assailant in the face. The incident ended with the assailant receiving a minor punishment, the second student getting the maximum punishment the district could legally hand out, and the first student is still being tormented by the same group of bullies.
You want to know what the really sad part is? That story isn’t the exception: it’s the rule. And not just at this one school district, but around the country.
Not so long ago, it was expected, even demanded of students that they stand up to bullies. If Bubba Joe was picking on Little Billy, and you saw it, it was Billy’s jobto make Bubba Joe stop, and if that meant splitting Bubba Joe’s lip, then oh well. Bubba had it coming to him. Billy might get sent to the principal’s office, but so would Bubba, and it was almost guaranteed that Bubba would come out with a much harsher punishment than Billy… if Billy even got punished at all. And rest assured that when Billt got home, Mommy and Daddy would praise him for doing The Right Thing.
Now? Now, if Bubba Joe beats up Little Billy, odds are that Billy will get in as much trouble as Bubba Joe, if not worse, even if he doesn’t fight back. Most schools nowadays have so-called “Zero Tolerance” rules that punish the victims for getting into “a fight,” even if said “fight” is Little Billy cowered against a locker whilst Bubba Joe beats the snot out of him. And if Billy dares to take a swing at Bubba Joe to protect himself, odds are he’ll wind up getting arrested and thrown in Juvie for “assaulting” Bubba Joe.
This begs the question: WHAT THE FLUFF HAS HAPPENED TO THIS COUNTRY?!?!?! How in the fluff did The Right Thing change from “make the bully stop hurting you” to “bend over and take it?” And why have we made defenselessness not only acceptable, but praiseworthy?