Bullying, pre-21st Century, was an unfortunate but necessary part of childhood. Some kids were mean and you just had to learn how to handle them. Maybe you hit back, maybe you avoided, maybe you grouped up, but pity the fool who never learned to take an insult.
Sure, My Second Grader Teases His Classmates. Why does that make him a bully?
By Doyin Richards, 9 February 2021
My second grade son has been called a bully by two classmates and their parents. Yet nobody, including his teacher, says that he has ever laid a hand on anyone, because we don’t condone violence in our household. My son is known to tease other kids, but that’s what every second grader does! Have we become so sensitive as a society that kids can’t poke fun at each other without being labeled bullies? If these kids can’t handle that, then the real world will eat them alive. How can I tell these parents that their kids need to toughen up?
—Soft Parents Equals Soft Kids
Start by telling those parents to stop fighting their childrens’ battles. “No blood, no foul” was the playground rule of my day and I turned out just fine as a dissident Christian fundamentalist… oh. Anyway, the real problem here is those parents helicoptering their kids too closely, as you obviously suspect given your tagline. You’re doing fine for now as a parent of a second grader.
Dear Soft Parents Equals Soft Kids,
I can’t believe I have to say this to you, but just because your son is not physically violent doesn’t mean he’s not hurting kids.
Hello, Wokeness. “Just because you never owned slaves doesn’t mean you aren’t a slaver!”
And I beg to differ, too—teasing other kids is not what every second grader does. I have a second grade daughter, and I’d be mortified if she or her big sister were accused of bullying their classmates—as would almost every parent I know.
Richards is going to be Sadface when his daughter goes teenage. You don’t suppose that his zero-tolerance attitude is the result of… his being bullied in the past and refusing to ever get over it?
I was bullied mercilessly in school by other kids who never laid a hand on me. I was called “crowbar” because I was Black and painfully thin.
So what? Did you insult Chunky right back? That’s how I handled it back in my vaguely remembered second grade.
I had a severe speech impediment that made me stutter uncontrollably when I was nervous—and other kids had a field day with me because of it.
Okay, no return taunting. Ignoring them would be the next coping strategy, seeing as they never laid a finger on you.
As I sit here now, I’m an athletically built, 6-foot-2, 215-pound man who uses my voice for a living as a keynote speaker and corporate anti-racism facilitator, so I was able to overcome those two issues.
Richards sounds like a successful “I overcame bullying” story… but, no. Not if “I became a corporate anti-racism facilitator because I was taunted for being black in second grade.”
But I wasn’t able to overcome the clinical depression that I still suffer from today, which was affected by the bullying I experienced. Does that make me “soft”? Probably to you it does.
Broken, not soft. There is something very wrong with Richards if he’s still traumatized decades after grade school and I don’t mean depression. His brain is wired wrong. It is neither healthy nor normal to be obsessed about bullying so long after the fact.
Here’s the thing: I’m cool with good-natured ribbing among friends. Because friends understand boundaries, keep us humble, and there’s no malicious intent. I dish it out and I can take it—but if a line is crossed, I’ll let my friends know and I expect them to do the same for me.
Deal with it, Richards. It is far past time for you to deal with it. The white people you hate today “because you aren’t racist” are not the bullies of your grade school thirty years ago.
Stop projecting. It is a crime against justice. It is a crime against reality.
If multiple kids and their parents are accusing your son of bullying, you should assume that’s what happening. Your reaction should be “I need to discuss this with him so he doesn’t do it again,” instead of “My kid isn’t the problem. These kids are soft.”
Accusations merit investigation, not punitive precautions.
What’s next? Will he start making fun of Black people and you’ll make excuses for his behavior by saying, “Meh, it’s just Black people playing the race card again”? Teasing is often the gateway to racism, misogyny, and other forms of marginalization.
Yo, Black dude… You. Just. Played. The. Race. Card. Again.
Get your head out of your rear end and do your part to raise a kind kid, for crying out loud. If he’s constantly making other kids feel bad, then that’s on him and you—not his classmates and their parents. Do better.
Feelings. It’s always about feelings with SJWs, never evidence, tradition, standards or any objective reference point. They live inside their heads and lash out at people today for the crimes of third parties yesterday.