Friday, July 29, 2011

Bullied to death

Another moving poem by Digital Cuttlefish.  Bullying of children by other children is dehumanising.  It isolates children, making them dread school, dread social events and feel entirely alone.  There’s often nowhere they can go for help. Parents often don’t understand how bad bullying can get or they might unhelpfully tell their offspring to ‘just fight back’.  Telling teachers is often out of the question for obvious reasons.  It can seem to children as though there’s no end to torment in sight and hard to imagine in any case what a life free of torment might be like.

When a child feels so isolated, organisations claiming to care and to offer support have a special organisation to listen, defend, encourage, advise and heal.  Their top priority should be the bullied child, who they should treat with sensitivity and respect. What they shouldn’t do is this.

Over the past two years, a total of nine teenagers have committed suicide in a Minnesota school district represented by Rep. Michele Bachmann—the latest in May—and many more students have attempted to take their lives. State public health officials have labeled the area a "suicide contagion area" because of the unusually high death rate.

Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied. And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman's closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish.

Bachmann and her allies have opposed attempts to promote tolerance of homosexuals in schools.  They imagine a ‘homosexual agenda’ which aims to somehow recruit young people into being gay. And their braying, spittle-crusted maws are open wide in howls of protest.  They blocked a proposed Gay-Straight Alliance Club at Fred Moore Middle School (now Anoka Middle School for the Arts) by postponing meetings for months citing the need for legal vetting.  Let’s be clear about this: they were blocking a club which would have provided support for bullied, frightened and lonely children.

At least four of the nine children who killed themselves over those two years were LGBT, or at least perceived as such by their schoolmates and bullied because of it.  However, the Parents Action League and the Minnesota Family Council blame activists against gay bullying for the suicides.  You see, the children were ‘indoctrinated’ into homosexuality by groups promoting tolerance and killed themselves because they were encouraged to adopt an ‘unhealthy lifestyle’.  This is a remarkable piece of logic to say the least.

These groups have worked with schools to encourage children to preach to their gay classmates and tell them they’re going to hell.  They handed out t-shirts to kids promoting a ‘day of truth’.  Fifteen-year-old Justin Aaberg hanged himself shortly after this event: his mother – understandably - blames it for his suicide.

It’s beyond my understanding how anyone could deliberately deny support to an unhappy child, let alone actively hound that child out of school and society and – in some cases – the world.  These people are scum. Their views are disgusting.  They’re using the power handed to them by the unthinking privilege religion enjoys in society to commit evil, evil acts.

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