Clearly, bullying is a serious problem in the world right now, be it the cyber kind or the old-school in-person kind. It seems like every day there are hundreds of stories about poor kids being ridiculed and physically assaulted, some even to the point of suicide.
In the past year or so, tons of campaigns and movements to stop bullying have cropped up. Everybody is familiar with the celebrity-laden "It Gets Better" campaign, and now there's even a Bullying Prevention Awareness Month (it's October), sponsored by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. People are tired of this awful, pervasive trend, and they're taking action to stop it.
Well, most people. Certain teachers in England are simply telling their students to try "acting less gay." Now that doesn't seem to be helpful advice, now does it?
According to the London Evening Standard, a report has found "anecdotal evidence of students being told to act less gay or to wear their hair differently as teachers felt they were making themselves a target for bullies."
Okay, now I'm not professionally trained in how to deal with bullies (clearly, neither are they), but I do know that telling a student to "act less gay" certainly isn't going to curtail bullying -- because they're not dealing with the actual bully, they're just insulting the victim (which, incidentally, will only give these students even lower self-esteem).
The only reason I can think of why a teacher would give out such advice (aside from being totally clueless) is because blaming the victims -- who are most likely quiet and docile -- is much easier than tackling the problem itself. (Problem = wild, unruly, troubled kids.) But tackling bullying shouldn't be easy -- nothing worth fighting for ever is. It may take more time, but teachers need to put in as much time and effort as are necessary to stop the bullies. Because once they stop, so does the bullying.
What do you think about these teachers' comments?
Image via Dottie Mae/Flickr