Making More Proficient Bullies, One Anti-Bullying Campaign at a Time

Our public education system is at it again:

It started as a simple look at bullying. University of Texas at Arlington criminologist Seokjin Jeong analyzed data collected from 7,000 students from all 50 states.

He thought the results would be predictable and would show that anti-bullying programs curb bullying. Instead — he found the opposite.

Jeong said it was, “A very disappointing and a very surprising thing. Our anti-bullying programs, either intervention or prevention does not work.”

One of the more persistent campaigns from the left has been against abstinence education, and the current administration has pretty much ended federal support for such programs.  At the vanguard of this movement has been the LGBT community.  It’s no secret that sex is sacramental to the left, but why should the LGBT community care what heteros do among themselves?  Because people who are defined by their sexual activity count as their greatest adversaries those who refrain from sex, either temporarily or permanently.

But the best defence is a good offence, and so the LGBT community has been especially active in promoting the anti-bullying campaign.  Since they have been victims of same, this makes sense, although for those of us bullied for other reasons the idea that only sexual orientation really matters (an implied undertone in all of this) won’t wash.

But the anti-bullying campaigners are finding out what the abstinence educators should have: that our public education system is a poor teacher of values and morals.  Instead, we have this:

The student videos used in many campaigns show examples of bullying and how to intervene. But Jeong says they may actually teach students different bullying techniques — and even educate about new ways to bully through social media and texting.

In this respect they are like prisons: instead of punishing crime, they become finishing schools for criminals.

The U.S. would be well advised to leave the inculcation of morals to civil and private society and make the public schools concentrate on more basic tasks such as teaching people how to think.  As it stands it’s not doing a stellar job of either one.

2 Replies to “Making More Proficient Bullies, One Anti-Bullying Campaign at a Time”

  1. Don,

    I broadly agree with you here.

    But you leave a problem posed. It would be your logic that abstinence education contributes to sexual promiscuity. Why then would an LGBT community, for whom “sex is sacramental,” oppose anything so effective in producing more proficient sexual excess?

    Might you have fallen here into a trap of your own making, that of excessive complexity in your gyration to vent admittedly arch and stylish spite, and cast your oh so civilized blame?



    1. There’s definitely a conundrum here, but it’s not of my own making.

      Six years ago I got into a food fight with a gay commenter over abstinence education. I was not advocating for same (after the anti-drug campaigns of my youth, I’ve taken a jaundiced view of any program like this) but the article I linked to was, so he attempted to show that teen sex activity was inversely proportional to abstinence education. Liberals typically take the position that “abstinence education doesn’t work because people are going to do it anyway” and trot out stuff like this to show they are right.

      But such argumentation begs many questions. Why spend political capital fighting something that doesn’t make a dent in what you’re hoping for? Why does the LGBT community have a “dog in the hunt”? (The answer I came up with is the best I can do to explain that). And your question is also relevant.

      Perhaps a “follow the money” approach is in order. Abstinence education competed with other programs liberals prefer, so they opposed it. Moreover the educational establishment likes for us to think that its programs work whether they are to their taste or not. To deem abstinence education ineffective would cast aspersions on their other projects, which could lead to loss of funding.

      Now that anti-bullying campaigns are in trouble, what can we say? “Anti-bullying education doesn’t work because people are going to do it anyway”? I think that the root causes of the problem, of bullying itself, are misunderstood and misrepresented by all sides, but I think there’s a good case to take a hard look at the messenger.


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