When you grow up a geek, no one has to tell you about bullying.
I spent much of the fifth grade being beaten up every day, the moment I stepped off of school property. I was a dreamer whose head was filled with science fiction and gadgets, not preventing some 11-year-old thug who had already failed a grade from stealing my lunch money.
That went on until the day that I decided I had had enough. I picked up a stick, beat two of them and chased the third all the way to his house, where I was still beating him on his own front steps until they pulled me off. They threatened me with arrest, with punishment, with a beating of my own.
The old man, who was the toughest and fairest Navy chief you would ever meet, told them to go ahead and beat me. Only they had to go through him first.
Later, I would enter the martial arts, earning a second-degree black belt in Judo and first in Tae Kwan Do karate. Never had to fight again, but spent four years teaching martial arts and unarmed self defense at the University of Iowa.
Which is why I don’t think much of the current school campaigns to prevent bullying, particularly in elementary and middle schools. I stay pretty close to those grades since I am raising my grandson, and my observation is that the current campaign is a politically correct sop in which administrators who don’t have a clue punish whoever they get to first.
On school busses, kids who have been bullied for years are punished if they stand up for themselves. The bus drivers have little control over the secret bullying – the kids stabbed every day with pencils, the ones who are spit upon and called names. They only see the ones who finally stand up and strike a blow for themselves.
So we are raising a generation of kids who learn early not to trust teachers and bus drivers. Not to trust the adults who betray them. We are raising the future generations of young people who will strike back in their twenties with bombs and guns and strive to kill everyone who has ever bullied them.
They will do this because we have replaced fairness with political correctness, in which we punish the victims because it is just too much damned effort to figure out who is really at fault. Or because the parents of the real bully work for the county government and vote on the school budget. Or because we simply don’t give a damn as long as we can fill the square marked “anti-bullying program.”
Maybe I am wrong, but we seem to have so sissified our schools that we have left the natural bullies in charge. We don’t teach boxing anymore. Much too violent. We teach kids to conform, not to stand up for their rights. We don’t teach kids the why they must respect the property and rights of others. Teaching these things takes away from the time spent teaching Elementary School students the Obama praise song, how to use a condom and why Islam is better than Christianity.
My grandson isn’t bullied anymore, but it took some effort. Days spent staring down vice-principals, arguing with bus drivers, threatening lawsuits and spending time in the school as a volunteer to watch the bullies. Things I thought we were paying teachers and our administrators to manage.
Solve bullying? Give kids the right to stand up for themselves, and stand back. They will sort it out for themselves, and take care of the bullying problem in less than six years.
Yes, some kids will get their butts beaten more than once. They are the bullies, and they will learn by high school that if you mess with other people who are empowered to stand up for their own rights you will reap the whirlwind.
The other recourse is to teach them all to be good little girls and take their Ritalin, as we most do today.