twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Anti-Bullying Programs Under Fire

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Guest blogger Kate Tuttle: As we all know, in recent weeks there has been a spate of suicides by teenagers who were bullied for being gay, or for being suspected of being gay. In the wake of these tragic deaths, many schools and youth groups are rushing to create programs aimed at helping teens recognize and fight back against bullying and exclusionary behavior. Among the higher-profile efforts are "It Gets Better," a Web-based project (soon to become a book) spearheaded by gay writer Dan Savage and his husband.

Anti Bullying Program under fire
And then there's "Bullied," a documentary produced by Teaching Tolerance, the educational wing of the Southern Poverty Law Center. It follows the court battle one bullied gay teen waged against a school district that failed to protect him. The film is accompanied by a teaching guide and is intended to be used in schools to help teachers, students and administrators begin to talk about the problem. 

Who could argue with the idea that adults, if we do nothing else, should help teenagers rise above the damaging and even dangerous effects of such bigotry and hate? Shockingly enough, though, some people do argue against it -- specifically, the group Focus on the Family. This group has suggested that programs aimed at anti-gay bullying are themselves "intolerant" of Christians, and represent an effort not to protect children, but to promote a "gay agenda." 

To this group, civil rights for all equals (somehow) an attack on them. I guess they feel attacked when they can no longer demean gay people as abnormal. They've even launched a website,, in which they argue that when schools acknowledge the equal rights of gay students, it somehow pushes straight kids toward a gay identity. When I read that they think kids should be protected from being pushed "into prematurely embracing a sexual identity based on the demands of special-interest groups," I wanted to ask them, "Don't you realize that this is what has always happened to gay kids -- only you're the special-interest group?"

I'm no theologian, but it seems to me that if you think your religious liberty and civil rights depend on suppressing the rights of others, maybe it's time to rethink your mission. Me, I like the spiritual sentiments expressed by the blogger at Momastery, who argues that even the word "tolerance" is problematic. In a post entitled "A Mountain I'm Willing to Die On," she writes (in a letter to her son, Chase): 

"If our goal is to be tolerant of people who are different than we are, Chase, then we really are aiming quite low. Traffic jams are to be tolerated. People are to be celebrated .... Every person is Divine."

next: The Idea of Planning Ahead Tortures Me
52 comments so far | Post a comment now
Life Plus April 6, 2011, 5:42 PM

An cool post there mate . Cheers for it !

Fitness April 6, 2011, 5:46 PM

fantastic issues altogether, you simply received brand new reader. What might you suggest in regards to your publish that you made some days ago? Any positive?

Life Plus April 6, 2011, 5:53 PM

I’m getting a browser error, is anyone else?

intensivkurs körkort göteborg April 6, 2011, 9:59 PM

Thank you for sharing with us, I think this website really stands out : D.

Life Plus April 7, 2011, 5:34 AM

When are you going to post again? You really inform a lot of people!

xrumer April 7, 2011, 2:22 PM

I’m not positive where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend a while finding out more or figuring out more. Thank you for wonderful info I used to be in search of this information for my mission.

Denise E. Weiss April 8, 2011, 12:02 AM


Ephedra Ephedrine April 8, 2011, 4:45 AM

Guten Tag! Ich bin über AOL zu diesem Weblog gestoßen und will auch eine Anmerkung hier lassen. Mir gefällt das Layout überaus gut und ich werde bereitwillig in Bälde zurückkehren. Ich fände es super, wenn dir dir auch meine Site zum Thema Ephedra besehen würdest. Ephedra Ergänzungen sind der beste Fatburner für rapide Fettverbrennung. Vielen Dank und alles Gute!

Solar Cells April 8, 2011, 10:36 AM

Hello - I have to admit, I’m impressed with your site. I have little difficulty navigating through all of the tabs and information was very easy to gain access to. I discovered things i wanted very quickly at all. Pretty great. Would be thankful should you add forums or something, it would be the perfect way for your customers to interact. Great job!

peugeots April 8, 2011, 9:31 PM

Lovely piece, thanks are in order for making the effort to think of it

Cayden McNamaran April 9, 2011, 2:31 PM

I hope you never stop! This is one of the best blogs Ive ever read. Youve got some mad skill here, man. I just hope that you dont lose your style because youre definitely one of the coolest bloggers out there. Please keep it up because the internet needs someone like you spreading the word.

louis vuitton bags May 7, 2011, 12:27 PM

You could definitely see your expertise within the work you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

Back to top >>