WWJD to bullies?

The definition of a bully is someone who is habitually cruel or overbearing, or seeks to dominate others by intimidation or belittling.
Mar 21, 2013

The truth of the matter is, we’ve all been a bully, and we’ve all been a victim of or a witness to bullying. It happens every day, on every playground, in every classroom, in every neighborhood. It occurs in our schools, homes, workplaces and churches.

There is no sacred place that’s free of bullies.

Think about it: How many times did you come home in tears because of something a mean or popular kid said about you behind your back or to your face? How many times did you spread a rumor or put down another kid just to make yourself “look better"?

So, when we hear about kids at any of our area schools picking on others — whether it’s because they’re biracial, overweight, suffer from bad acne or wear braces — it’s easy to brush it off as just "kids being kids." Because we’ve all been there, right?

But that doesn’t make it OK.

There are programs in place at most of our area schools that are anti-bullying in nature, such as Bucs Above Bullying. But if you listen to the commenters on the racial intimidation story at grandhaventribune.com, it’s easy to see that such programs are not all that effective. Current and past students share anecdote after anecdote about how they were bullied themselves, or witnessed it.

The problem is that, as well-intentioned as these programs are, they are simply too superficial. How can a feel-good program at a school be expected to root out bullies in our community when bullying is age-old and taught within our society as a whole?

Don’t blame the school; blame human nature.

Until we all choose to carefully monitor our words and actions, and choose to be kinder and more patient with others, we’ll never be free of bullies.

Perhaps we can stomp out bullying by being more compassionate to human suffering. As Easter approaches, it’s fitting that we take a page from our Christian brothers and sisters, and ask ourselves: What would Jesus do? What would he say to bullies? What would he say to the victims of bullying?

Let’s ask ourselves that important question in all of our interactions. What a kinder, gentler community we might live in if we did so.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

 

Comments

ohwell

"Don’t blame the school; blame human nature."

Some truth to that comment. However, the schools that turn a blind eye or not helping. Just spend a day in any school and see how the administration or teachers act or react. I seem to remember reading something about one of the assistant principals seeing a kid in the cafeteria with a white hat on with the letters "KKK" on it. Then by the time he wandered over the kid was gone or the hat was gone. Didn't sound like there was any action or form of discipline that had taken place. There needs to be real discipline and consequences for peoples actions these days, not a slap on the hand. Unfortunately we have become a society of people that get in trouble for standing up for themselves. Sometimes feeling have to hurt for a good reason, not a bad reason. If that means kids getting expelled or suspended, and not this in-school suspension stuff either. Make the kids do a full day of class then spend a few hours after school cleaning the school, and start with the restrooms. And if the kid that got in trouble is the "star" athlete, they get kicked off the team for the rest of the year. It is time to start putting academics and other peoples feeling in place of sports.

You ask WWJD, I seem to remember a story where he went in a flipped a bunch of tables over in the temple because of people doing were not "playing" nice. Then the story of the woman that got caught doing prostitution, and was about to be stoned. He reminded everyone that gathered to cast the first stone if they had been without sin themselves. Were any rocks thrown?

Again it is time for some real consequences to happen for people that get caught bullying anyone in any manner. No more wrist slapping and trying to sweep the problems under the rug to save face of the school or community. Obviously these so-called programs in the schools are working. If they were, there would be no issues. Time to stop talking and take action. Every bully I ever witnessed get "put in their place" got the picture that they aren't all that.

Peter56

Jesus would not stay Anonymous as did the writer of this article. Jesus would say hey there Mr Bully i must eat with you lets go have a Berger together. And when he or she got to know him you fall in love with him. It is only when he is misrepresented by those who hate him or those with agendas that are not love is there a problem. People Bully's are people too.

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