Echo From the Past: Bullying, Columbine, and and Old Slashdot rant
in "voices from Hellmouth", back on this day in 1999, 14 years ago, slashdot discusses the fallout from columbine, and how the real tragedy, the witch hunt it immediately spawned nationwide, that effectively turned the country into a giant prison for everyone of school age.
for only 15 victims, the hamfisted overreaction was to further ostrify, outcast, and blindly attack hundreds of thousands of children, who's only crime was bearing a passing resemblance to the shooters only in only not being close enough to the media sponsored materialistic vision of what a teenager should be.
It was the teachers, parents, shrinks, and other authority figures who lead the way in this hamfisted witch hunt. designed at nothing more than preventing society from taking a good look at itself and re-addressing who has power, why, and the side affects of authoritarianism, and Prussian School style beating of docility, conformity, group think, and paranoia has into kids.
Fast Forward 14 years later, and today we find similar misguided witch hunts being conducted on the cruel irony of being labeled as "Anti-bullying".
Lets get some facts straight:
1. Bullying for years has been institutionalized, and supported by teachers, child psychologist/psychiatrists, religious institutions, rights groups you'd think should know better, and all kinds of astro-turfed activist campaigns.
Most violent crimes in High School are perpetrated by those who will never be touched by police activity because they are above being questioned.
The real perpetrator behind this is the Big Media companies. the pressure to buy their products to fit in, and the how they enforce images and the social ladder to force kids to buy their products to avoid being harassed is disgusting. Those who don't pay Big Media's sponsors by buying their products are targeted, and this is encourage by the schools, psychologists, and authority figures.
the post columbine crackdown was an opportunist ploy to get rid of the remaining unprofitable "grunge" movement of people who didn't pay enough money to pop culture icons, and their affiliated brands. It was a "night of long knives", where they associated all of their enemies with the perpetrators of a tragedy, along with all dissent, and had them all harassed and thrown out of society. Many people were arrested, beaten, and lives destroyed.
- In the years between the fall of the soviet union, and 9/11, the USA needed a new enemy to fight, to keep everyone united behind some boogeyman to distract them from the flaws of their leaders and the system as a whole. The mainstream news might like to portray the 1990s as "Pax Americana", or this peaceful decade where soceity somehow worked, but it wasn't. Mass protests at the WTO and G8 meetings, met with political crackdowns groups like the Tea Party and #OWS could only dream off. They where also far larger. Counter culture was synonymous. People openly disobey the TV and pop culture. When gulf war 1 kicked off, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets, and mass riots eurpted in large cities.
It was also the 1990s, when the bloods street gang built a mass empire based on heroine, in spite of the "war on drugs".
Social conservatives like Pat Robertson, Jay Dobyns, Jerry Fallwell, preached doom to all non believers and associated frequently all tragedies with failure to adhere to their own strict version of Christianity, which we'd later learn was largely hypocritical. (If Christian preachers living in mansions bought with donation money wasn't enough).
Al-Qaeda bombed the world trade center once, and spent the decade growing, organizing, and we really had no idea. We were too busy cracking down on our own citizens to notice.
It was under this Aura of shame, paranoia, and manic need for an enemy, some enemy, and enemy, that in the aftermath of a school shooting, we saw the previous.
The Solution is very simple:
1. We need to teach kids about how real strength comes through independent thinking. By teaching kids servility, and mental feebleness to authority, we actually make them easier targets for bullies. We also make it harder for anyone to "white knight" them. Without any concept of self defense, all forms of force, self respect, and all concepts of standing your ground get equated with being the bully, thus throwing the victim in the same hole as the perpetrator, we reward dishonest behavior.
- We need to start discussing education reform in a way that is not based around how much money we should pay. Its almost impossible to have a political conversation about education without talking about how much teachers do or don't get paid, or other expenditures.
This concept of "your rights ending at the door" applying to high school needs to end. We need to stop teaching obedience and servility in high school. We also need to have teachers who act like responsible adults, and don't repeat stereotypes, don't reflect their own political, ethnic, or religious bias. We need teachers who encourage logical thinking instead of conformity.
- On this end, we need to review who gets access to our children. On the application for being a teacher, under penalty of a misdemeanor that constitutes jail time, teachers need to honestly put the following on their teaching applications:
Their connections to known celebrities, PR industry, advertisers, or other decision makers in the media or advertising industries.
Their connections to any lobbying groups, political parties, and the like
Links to pharmaceutical companies, or friends or family who have ties to corporate leadership.
Records kept by the state, and will be reviewed if there is a problem with a teacher.
Teachers should also be screened, and authorities respond to instances of teachers reciting hate, fear mongering, media propaganda, or trying to force children to give up their rights.
- For all child psychiatrists, and and psychologists, or anyone else who can make damning life altering judgements that can ruin a child's life, there are stricter requirements.
psychiatrists and psychologists themselves need to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before getting a license and every time its renewed, which should be at least once every 10 years.
Should have to declare all interactions with any pharmaceutical companies to the state, to be kept on file, and available to the public.
Any connections to pharmaceutical companies, political groups, celebrities, PR/Advertising agencies, or any other interested group which could affect their judgment needs to also be on file.
the penalty for lying about the above needs to be the minimum loss of license, and perhaps jail time.
they may not use the term "doctor" to refer to themselves. They may not join medical professional associations, or have any other privilege of being a medical doctor.
shrinks that work with kids shall be strictly prohibited with working with either Media advertising groups, pharmaceutical companies, or other subversive industries.
- We will remind everyone that a child's rights, consitutional, human, or otherwise begin at birth. We will end the misplaced notion that a child is property of the parents, and to that effect we will stop pretending that all parents are good or have theirs or others kids best intrests at hand. What we saw in the aftermath of columbine, is parents willing to sell their own kids out to save their reputations.
While we certainly don't expect children to make the right decisions, we need to counter the hypocritical age laws we have, that defy common sense. While we seek to take more and more rights away from kids, and continuously raise the age of adult only activities, we seem to apply the burden of adult responsibility younger and younger.
Starting at age 13 a child has the right to have a conscientious, and the right to not have their ideas beat, drugged, tricked, or tortured out of them.
a. the right to refuse medical treatment
b. the right to hold, identify with religious views independent of the parent
c. the right to free speech, privacy, and due process.
If the school administration does not recognize or uphold these rights, they need to be charged with a crime. It should further be a crime to indoctrination children on US soil in Prussian methodology as this is contradictory to our notions of freedom and democracy.
at 18, when someone is legally an adult, they should have all rights afforded to other adults in society. No exceptions.
- Stop pushing drugs to kids.
The irony of the war on drugs growing up, was the insane paranoia about drug users, and children using drugs as a reason to treat them all worse than suspects, but the same token, putting them on the same drugs manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies was fine, and they where handed out like candy. I cringe every-time I here the phrase "self-medicating".
A blanket ban for psychiatric drugs for children under 13 is called for. Over 13 all kids who want to opt-out have the RIGHT.
All those found pushing drugs to kids, shall be tried under current drug laws, with a new charge for violating the trust as a purported professional. 10 years in prison, as a Class 1 felony, with 10 years loss of license after release.
Parents, and others collaborating with them shall be charged with child abuse.
In addition, the general overall over prescription of psychiatric drugs and fear mongering should be combated, and close tabs should be put on all psychiatrists.
- End Prussian Education, and re-impliment Greek style education. Schools should be about learning, not authority and discipline, which makes a small percentage savage masochists, and a larger percentage docile, servile victims.
Never forget, and we need to keep re-bringing this up until we see justice. We need to make sure this doesn't get subverted, doesn't get repackaged by the same people who perpetrated this for another sick plot. We need to make sure this doesn't ever get to be old news until it is dealt with, and we don't shut up until we see results. We need to make sure this does not become either un-history, and or does not get explained away by astroturf.
GI Jack Sun 28 Apr 2013 1:11AM
while I agree with you, that bullying is bread by resentment, I will disagree with your concept on no grades.
Grading should not competition among peers, but should at least be a demonstration of ability, as an absolute. This is for the benefit of society, to
1) ensure that people have correct skills needed to maintain society, who get into such jobs.
2) identify the best and brightest.
What I advocate is a meritocracy, where the best and brightest are able to do the most good. What we don't have is a meritocracy. What we have is a system which is arbitrary and the tiers are artificial due to people in power, maintaining power.
Also, competition is the nature of man kinds. Humans will compete when nothing is at stake for the sake of competing. I also think it can be very productive if done in the right manner.
Think about it. Free Software projects compete for nothing more than honor, fanbois, and flame warriors.
Gnome vs KDE? I think the battle has made both desktops stronger as they compete, at the same time neither has been damaged by competition, and they both collaborate with opendesktop.org.
competition makes can make us stronger, give us reasons to push our limits, and creativity.
But you are right, hyper competitiveness also has strong downsides. Only a handful of those who can compete at the highest levels are allowed to compete at all.
Sports shouldn't be about training kids to play professionally, it should be about a bunch of kids have fun playing outdoors.
In addition to letting the best compete to be pros, we should encourage more amateurism in everything, be it electronics, sports, physics, etc.
As for kids, they divide themselves into groups. Children act like children. There will always be winners loosers and bullys. That said, everyone needs to belong somewhere. Its outrageous that the school administration will side with one group of children over another based on arbitrary standards.
Also, I think groups so long as they are self-made, self-supported, democratic, and bottom-up are positive. I also see school made groups that are top down, teacher led, and authoritarian as destructive.
Also, I do not pretend that bullying will go away, nor am I trying to make it go away, just like crime or terrorism. I am trying to lessen its impact. We can certainly lessen the impact bullies have, reduce the amount of bullies, and create a more positive and fair resolution to specific cases of bullying, both for the bully, victim, and society as a whole.
Amanda Johnson Sun 28 Apr 2013 1:26PM
I think we need a different system of grades. Our education system does not value hard work, creativity nor critical thinking.
I agree with encouraging amateurism and everything else GI Jack said.
Lecmus Novigma · Sun 28 Apr 2013 12:51AM
My proposal is to advocate for a more flexible educational system in which there is no competition grades among it's goals. Every child is given the chance to be educated for the sake of education and tests are taken out of the equation whatsoever. Much of bullying stems from resentment. And grades breed resentment. jealous Should such reforms be palatable, I'd also advocate more inclusivity in schools, in which kids aren't divided into categories, tropes and groups. That would also decrease bullying.