Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thomas Sowell on Bullying

Unlike many public intellectuals, Thomas Sowell rarely disappoints.

Today, he has written a column about bullying in schools. To more precise, he explains how everyone is getting lathered up about bullying, while, at the same time, doing nothing to stop it. Link here.

After all, the schools and the courts can’t really crack down on bullying. Their liberal pieties, translated into school policy, have produced a culture in which it has grown and prospered.

In  Sowell’s words: “When educators are going to do nothing, they express great concern and make pious public pronouncements. They may even hold conferences, write op-ed pieces, or declare a ‘no tolerance‘ policy. But they are still not going to do anything that is likely to stop bullying.

“In some rough schools, they can’t even stop the bullying of teachers by the hooligans in their classes, much less stop the bullying of students.

“Not all of this is the educators’ fault. The courts have created a legal climate where any swift and decisive action against bullies can lead to lawsuits. The net results are indecision, half-hearted gestures, and pious public pronouncements by school officials, none of which is going to stop bullies.

“When judges create new ‘rights‘ for bullies out of thin air, just as they do for criminals, and prescribe “due process” for school discipline, just as if schools were little courtrooms, then nothing is likely to happen promptly or decisively.

“If there is anything worse than doing nothing, it is doing nothing spiced with empty rhetoric about what behavior is ‘unacceptable‘ — while in fact accepting it.”

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