by Izzy Kalman (October 2005)
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. For years, I have been declaring that the simple fact that anti-bullying programs have good intentions is not enough to make them moral. If they make the situation worse, they are immoral.
Several months ago, a Canadian psychologist, David Smith, conducted a review of all the research on anti-bullying programs and found that on the whole they don’t work. Interestingly, he called on the programs to continue anyway because if we do them long enough, eventually we may find out what does work.
In recent weeks, I have become more aggressive in trying to inform the public why these programs don’t work and what does. I sent a press releases to reporters entitled “Will a School Anti-Bullying Law Bankrupt Your School?” It informs them that research indicates these programs don’t work, and that even mental health professionals don’t know how to get rid of bullying from their own lives, yet we want schools to be held responsible for making kids accomplish what human behavior experts can’t. Holding schools legally responsible for protecting kids from bullying does not magically make bullying disappear. However, it means that schools can be sued if they don’t completely stop bullying among students – an impossible goal. Awards of hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars have been won by individual parents during the past year because their children’s schools failed to stop their child from being bullied. When parents and lawyers catch on – and they are beginning to do so – every school will be liable to lawsuits.
The anti-bully movement has done such a phenomenal job of convincing everyone that it is good to go after ‘bullies” that many people have no interest in evidence to the contrary. Look at this response I received from one newspaper editor:
Your logic here sucks. I’m sorry, you depend on me being stupid to take this trash seriously. You might want to run this by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Oh. Sorry. They’re dead, as are 10 or so people who bullied them plus several innocent bystanders. But that’s just life, right? Take me off your mailing list. You’re a moron.
Harry Jackson Jr., MS, AHCJ
Feature writer Health & Fitness
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
If Mr. Jackson is so gung-ho that children be forced to be nice to each other, why does he think it is okay to insult my logic and call me a “moron”? And he actually believes Dylan Klebald and Eric Harris were justified in killing thirteen people. What makes him better than the “bullies” he condemns? People are so eager to go after “bullies” because it is always “the other person.” Perhaps if we realized that the bullies are us, maybe we would stop supporting the hypocritical anti-bully crusade.