Political Correctness Is the Real Bully on the Playground

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Screen shot 2014-06-03 at 1.20.47 AMI grew up in a fairly conservative home and wasn’t ever taught how to be politically correct.

Thank. The. Lord.

Because, today, I am a mother of three elementary children (one with special needs) in a day where the PC police are out of control!  Scratch that.  I mean in control.  Of everything.

Sarcasm aside, I don’t approach this subject lightly.  I was bullied in elementary school.  The real kind of bullying, like when a group kids follows you home, constantly harassing with words that cut deep, and push you down on the playground taking turns stepping on your back.  Not like today’s definition where one 8-year-old child calls another a “Booger Head” during a heated game of tag and has to spend the rest of the day in the counselor’s office doing self-reflection exercises.

Sometime over the last 20 years the definition of “bully” has been changed to mean anything that hurts someone’s feelings, or has the potential of hurting someone’s feelings, or anything that is said or done by every child ever.  When did this happen?  Probably around the time that students started showing up to school with weapons and murdering one another.

So the education system’s knee-jerk response was to eliminate, not only bullying, but normal childhood behavior as well as important natural consequences, like grading work, that would have set them up for success in the real world.

But these poor educators are in an uphill behavior-modification battle against the human nature of tiny people, so campaigning for the cause of bully-awareness has to be applied pretty strong. I recently overheard my daughter talking to her brothers about her “bully” at school.  When I asked her what she thought that meant, she told me it was because he “Chases me all the time and tells everyone that I am his girlfriend”.

Uh….. When I was in Kindergarten we called that kind of behavior “Kindergarten.”

Things like school shootings and teen suicide are very serious and growing issues whose roots need to be exposed and addressed, but my suspicion is that these epidemics have not been spawned by bullying itself (That’s been around as long as there have been people), but by how our generation has been trained to respond to life’s difficulties.  So what does Political Correctness have anything to do with it?  Because the very foundation of PC teaches you that you are a victim, and every school massacre has been justified by its inflicter because of their perceived victimhood.

What kids learn

As parents, we need to see the hardships that our children face at school as incredible opportunities to mold character and endurance necessary for adulthood success into them.  I know this is hard.  I KNOW this is hard.  I have a son with Aspergers who is constantly on the receiving end of playground unkindness and another son who has to watch it happen every day to the brother he loves dearly and defends valiantly.  As painful as it is to see my kids hurting, I want to be so careful of what lessons they are going to learn from how we respond.

Are we going to get angry, storm into the school and demand justice for their wounds, communicating to them that they are victims and in every hardship in life they are owed a defender?

Are we going to tell them, “Tough titties. Suck it up” and just dismiss their hurt, communicating to them that their feelings aren’t legitimate and that something is wrong with them for being too sensitive?

Or are we going to put our arms around a teary-eyed child, enter into that pain with them, feel with them, and then teach them.  Teach them their real value.  teach them that they are going to face more times like these in life.  Teach them that they can use the memory of this pain to have compassion on others.  Teach them that they are not going to be hurt forever.  Teach them to love and pray for those who aren’t fair to them.

Life isn’t fair

We have a saying in our house that we use every time one of the kids cries foul: “If God were fair, we’d all be dead.”  And it’s true.  It wasn’t fair that Jesus took the punishment for our sin when we deserved it.  Love isn’t fair.  And it isn’t very loving to send our kids off to face a world that is competitive and cruel without preparing them for that reality.  How are they going to handle working hard on a project only for their boss to tell them to take it back to the drawing board when their school teachers weren’t allowed to correct their papers with a red pen?  How are they going to handle being turned down by the opposite sex when their parents told them they were a victim every time they were teased?  I think we just saw last week on the news how that turns out.

Is it possible that the real bully here is not the hazing child in the locker room, but political correctness?

Let’s hear your thoughts.



3 thoughts on “Political Correctness Is the Real Bully on the Playground

    Ann Kilter said:
    June 3, 2014 at 4:21 am

    I noticed that I said “political correctness is the real bully.” I should have said it is one real form of bullying. I have been watching The World Wars on the History channel this weekend. Hitler, Stalin – monsters. Bullies.

    Ann Kilter said:
    June 3, 2014 at 2:06 am

    Hazing IS bullying behavior. Following someone around the playground and calling them “your girlfriend” most of the time is not. Unless it is. Sometimes kids will figure out what another child hates, and then do it to them. I was bullied relentlessly in elementary school. I got the sticks and stones as well as the words that hurt. That is bullying.

    However, these days, to speak the truth in love is considered “bullying,” especially if the truth makes people uncomfortable. We had to teach our children to be careful about the words they used. If my son spoke the truth about abortion, I got a phone call, or it appeared on his IEP, because he “needed to know” that not everyone agreed with him. (We were proud of him). I think political correctness is the real bully as you said.

    Unfortunately, my son was bullied at a church we attended for two years. He resolutely refuses to go back there, even for a concert.

    Elliot Rodgers had many more issues than just bullying. He was clearly mentally ill, privileged, catered to, and came from a dysfunctional family. Now it turns out that he was never formally diagnosed with aspergers….his family just suspected he had it. I think they jumped on the diagnosis of asperger’s because it sounded less serious than straight out mental illness – which was probably emotional impairment, psychopathy, etc. He had a serious case of entitled resentment built up.

    That said, I did speak up for my son. I held IEP meetings on the issue of bullying in our schools. No one should have to put up with relentless bullying. Some children do need protection. Even though I stood up for him, and insisted that the school develop anti-bullying programs which included conflict management training (for the bullies), he has turned into a fine young man, who went to college, and has a good job with a tech firm. Our special children are more vulnerable to consistent bullying, the real type.

    Those are my thoughts.

      Courtney Snailum responded:
      June 3, 2014 at 2:33 am

      Thank you, Ann! This is great feedback. Yes, there are times and situations for parents to step in and protect their children, absolutely! It’s hard to communicate that balance in one blog. I think you nailed it with schools implementing communication and conflict resolution, important skills for kids to learn.

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