Fight violence with violence?

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By John Pawlak

Is the moon is made of cheese? Could we send astronauts to the sun if they went there at night? After a steer is castrated, can it still produce milk? Is arachnophobia a fear of Iraq?
Questions like this can raise an eyebrow or two (or three if you come from another planet with a cheesy moon).
Seriously, how stupid can people get?
To answer that question, pay a visit to Josh Ehn, Principal of Melcher-Dallas Jr/Sr High School in Melcher, Iowa.
 When an autistic boy was constantly bullied, his school did nothing to stop it (despite a detailed description of their anti-bullying policy on their web site). When the mother of the 13-year old boy complained, the bullies took it to the next level and posted videos on the Internet making fun of the autistic boy’s mannerisms.
And yet, the school still did nothing.
Principal Ehn explained that posting a video making fun of someone did not fit their definition of bullying.
Really? Is there a limit to how much stupid some people can fit into one head?
Apparently not. When probed further and asked what the school was doing about bullying, Ehn said, “We do what we can, but ultimately, it’s incumbent upon the students in the classroom to stand up against bullying.”
In case you didn’t understand what he said, that’s Iowan for “I’m a brain-dead idiot, so don’t ask me a question that requires thinking.”
Principal Ehn is not alone in the race for supreme stupidity. It common for people to blame the victim, saying “Kids getting bullied should toughen up” and “If you’re too chicken to fight back, you deserve what you get.”
With the ubiquitous presence of the Internet, bullying is becoming a national epidemic, sometimes promoting deadly results.
But some people disagree. As stories continue to emerge citing bullying related suicides, some people argue that we’re just hearing more of it because more people are talking more about it.
They argue that teaching children “not to fight back” has created a generation of cowards who get bullied because they’re victims not of bullies, but of a politically-correct society. They call the anti-bullying efforts “liberal hysteria” and argue that “fighting back” is the only solution.
 Can someone figure out a way to get these morons to shut up long enough for them to listen? No one ever said we shouldn’t fight back, but the intelligent thing to do is to fight back with conviction and not with fists.
And conviction can come from the most unexpected of places sometimes.
Danny Keefe was born with verbal apraxia of speech (a speech disorder).  He almost always wears a suit and tie, a strange choice of style since Danny is only six years old. His speech impediment together with his unusual attire makes him an easy target for bullying.
When Tommy Cooney (an 11-year old quarterback for a PeeWee Football league) in Massachusetts heard about Danny being bullied at the playground for wearing a suit and not being able to speak coherently, he got upset. And so did lots of other kids too.
The next thing the school knew, 45 fifth-grade students showed up to Williams Intermediate School wearing suits and ties, showing support for Danny and declaring it “Danny Appreciation Day.”
Should Tommy and his friends be branded as “wimps” because they fought back with words and support rather than with fists and threats?
 Why do some people think that the solution to bullying is a show of force?  Their mantras of “violence is the only path to peace” can be heard every day. Fight back! Stand your ground! Fight violence with violence! Knock some sense into those bullies!
Yeah, really smart. Bully the bullies. Teach the kids to toughen up and “put a little skin” into handling bullying.
It sounds to me like these people all graduated from Melcher High School. Principal Josh Ehn’s indifference to the dangers of bullying is the truly dangerous epidemic we face today.
Well, I have a message for Principal Ehn. “Hey Josh, they want you out of the pool!”
The message is from the Gene Police.