In a follow-up to this morning’s “This is ONE of the Reasons why Johnny Can’t read…” post on the general lack of common sense in our public schools, here’s another “Classic Bob” rant from last December, responding to the story of a 7-year-old boy who was threatened with a suspension for “sexual harassment” for kicking another boy in the groin, after that boy allegedly stole his gloves and choked him. In fact, according to the boy’s mother, the school principal went so far to accuse the boy of “sexual assault”.
*** shakes head slowly ***
As a guy who was involved in his share of fights in elementary school, I think schools today are filled with sissified, left-wing twits (namely the teachers and administrators) raising a generation of candy-ass kids. Here we have two boys fighting on a school bus. Big deal, back in the day, that was a regular occurrence for me – the usual remedy, if the teachers even got involved, was to drag me and whoever I was fighting with (who, I hasten to add, was always at fault – I was a paragon of virtue, bien sure) off to the office, yell at us, and call our parents. And that was the end of it. Even that was pretty wimpy. In my father’s day, if two kids were fighting, the teacher would tell them that he got to fight the winner.
I hate to think of the times that I got kneed or punched in the groin as a kid. No one ever suggested that it was anything other than boys being boys. Only a drooling idiot would have suggested that it was sexual harassment, much less sexual assault. (Hey, and by the way, if kicking a guy in the nuts, however richly deserved, is sexual assault, half the woman in this city would be convicted sex offenders. And what does it say about the other half, when they laugh at it when it happens in movies? Since when is sexual assault funny?).
But I’m willing to cut the principal some slack here, because she probably doesn’t have any real discretion on the point (although, given the quality of public school principals, I wouldn’t rule out her being a moron). No doubt the school district has a “zero-tolerance” policy on “sexual harassment” or “fighting” and she doesn’t want to risk his job by exercising common sense. And, in fairness, if she did, there’s always the risk that some jerk-off whiner of a parent will find out about it and file a complaint or a lawsuit, or accuse the school of covering up “sexual assault” à-la-Penn State (that raises the separate issue about the modern paranoia about sex crimes, but I won’t get into that one).
The real problem is that our society is being assaulted by a left-wing ideology that aims to define violence as inherently evil and to be de-legitimized. That’s just stupid. Little boys fighting is just something that’s innate in male primates (and male mammals more generally – have these people never watched “Animal Planet”?). That doesn’t mean you have to encourage it, or that you shouldn’t try to control it, but it also means that you don’t go apeshit when it happens. Moreover the “violence is evil” mantra fails to distinguish between violence that is truly evil (bullying, stealing from little kids, hitting girls, hitting kids who can’t fight back, etc.) and violence which is both morally righteous and richly deserved (beating up a bully, fighting to defend your property, stepping in to protect a friend). Unfortunately, the “violence is evil” crowd fail to recognize that similar actions (hitting someone, for instance) have different moral connotations, depending on the circumstances. This is a distinction that is fundamental to a moral society (and is certainly a distinction recognized by our laws). That our schools fail to make this distinction is a testament to the abandonment of moral values in the school system, and its replacement with the squishy pablum of soft left ideology.
That said, while this is a outcome that has been largely driven by ideology, I’m not letting school administrators and teachers off the hook. In part because, hey, who do you think drives that ideology. In part, because I think it reflects the general uselessness of some of our teachers and administrators. The “violence is evil” mantra relieves teachers and administrators of having to make judgment calls about which kids deserved what. Back in the day, if Jimmy came in complaining that Tommy punched him in the balls, they’d probably tell Jimmy that they knew that he’d been teasing Tommy and that he richly deserved what he got (which is what parents do when one of their kids complains about having been punched by the other), thus imparting a valuable lesson on Jimmy -karma’s a bitch, so behave yourself. Nowadays, it’s just easier to suspend them both and blame the policy, instead of actually determining whether one kid deserved it or not.
And not for nothing, but I’m willing to advance the theory that the rise in bullying (and the suicides flowing from it) are a function of the school’s “see no evil”/”zero-tolerance” approach to fighting. Back in the day, bullying wasn’t so profitable an exercise, given that there was also a real likelihood that, no matter how big you were, some kid would rear back and give you a bloody nose (as I did more than a few times to kids who thought I might be an easy target). Moreover, for every bully, there was always a handful of other kids who would be willing to step in to protect a more vulnerable kid (if only, as I freely admit, because they were looking for an excuse to punch said bully). It’s no wonder that kids commit suicide – they truly have no way to fight back against bullies. Teachers and principals are useless, but if they punch a bully in the face, they’re going to end up getting expelled.