Sunday, April 6, 2014

Letter to Rod Skoe by David Thorstad

Regarding anti-bullying legislation currently under consideration at the capitol, as reported by ABC News:

Hello, Rod Skoe,

As a longtime gay activist, I urge you to vote against this bill. I have read it. It is onerous (to school administrators) and promises something it cannot deliver. Moreover, it is the wrong way to approach bigotry and stupidity or harassment toward students perceived by hetero-arrogant youths. Some of its language is way too broad and could apply even to religious opinions others find annoying.

Instead of this legalistic one-size-fits-all approach to a problem that is, in any case, overblown, it would make more sense if the state provided comprehensive sex education beginning at the kindergarten level (as is done in Sweden, for example). There is no reason a teenager should feel hostility toward another student perceived to be gay, because nobody is born with such attitudes. Early and comprehensive sex education would counter such attitudes, which students most likely absorb from bigoted or narrow-minded parents, and by the time they are feeling their hormones in post-puberty, they would have a more reasonable and less skewed view of differences when it comes to sexual behavior. When I was in high school, I had sex and sex play frequently with my buddies, in school during lunch hour, outdoors, and at my home and theirs. Some of those guys grew up to be completely hetero, yet they were merely acting out on their own same-sex urges at the time. Why should youths today be any different?

Harassment of any student by other students, for whatever reason, should be nipped in the bud by school administrators. They do not need a law to do that. Any teacher or administrator who fails to take action to stop harassment should be fired for not doing their job.

Part of the problem is that the gay movement (and society as a whole) has come to project identity as the bee’s knee of sexuality. That is baloney. People are more flexible and their sexual expression hardly fits into identity politics, especially at a young age.

This legislation is misguided and should not pass.


David Thorstad


Billy Glover said...

The "cost" of this bill is irrelevant. It is the duty of school boards, administrators and teachers/faculty to protect all children. Obviously they are not doing so now. It is better to err on the side of victims of bullying. It seems too many times those making decisions don't live in the real world-but in ivory towers of academia-having seminars of the philosophy of society

Parents should be held responsible for the behavior of their children. Bullying happens off-campus too, but it is easier to handle when found on-campus..

Laws could also be expanded to cover even young children who bully older people. Sadly, older men especially are afraid of young boys who harass them because society assumes it is the man who is at fault. Again, parents are probably the ones who put the idea of harassment in the child's head.

David Thorstad said...

Billy, every time liberals perceive a problem, the first thing they think of is to pass a law. Your response reflects that. This law will not and cannot do what it purports, nor is it necessary, in addition to everything else that's wrong with it. Basically, it is an attempt by the DFL to curry favor with the "lgbt" "movement" in the Twin Cities. It essentially creates a special category for gays while pretending to cover all "bullying." It is promoted mostly by the OutFront "lgbt" outfit, which gets state funding.
Here's a response from my longtime friend D.J. (who is around your age and brilliant):

I also object to the idea of making homosexuals (like Jews) into a specially protected identity category. That is contrary to equal treatment under the law. It is just plain unfair.
I have very vivid memories of bullying in Kensington grade school. I was particularly attentive because I wanted to avoid being a victim – not because I was gay, but just because I was a bit different. Let’s call it smarter, larger vocabulary, that sort of thing – target attributes.
In my class there were two victims who had to undergo endless torment. One was a girl named Alberta Bergdorf and the other was a boy named Roscoe Reeves Jr. Neither one was gay, at least not so you would know it. The pretext for bullying in both cases was the victim’s name. The little savages seemed to think the name was peculiar and thus merited constant harassment. Neither of these children was particularly aggressive, the boy was definitely above average intelligence and the girl probably was too, but she was so constantly on the defensive that it was hard to tell. They looked perfectly “normal” but that didn’t help.
It is absurd to single out identity categories for “protection” against bullying. Kids don’t so much bully because of what they think about the victim. They bully because they enjoy it. It solidifies a group. See The Lord of the Flies – it pretty much explains it.
It’s a mistake for someone who is bullied to think “it’s because I’m this or because I’m that”. It’s because of the bullies. They need to be spotted and stopped.
Teachers need to be more vigilant than they were at Kensington Grade School – partly because the teachers themselves seemed to be afraid of the little monsters. This can be a matter of consciousness raising among teachers first of all, and then of discipline of the bullies. But not a law.

Billy Glover said...

While I think Don Slater would think sort of like you two, that is (and he said he was not) a libertarian view-no laws, thank you. Correct the law, but it is needed. As I said, apply it to kids who harass old people. AND, Jews have been treated as a class. I just watched an HBO show on a famous (I nev er heard of him, he was New York) sports commentator who not only was not allowed to run in the 1935 Olympics because he was Jewish, he lost jobs because of it-not because he was not qualified. I am a liberal Democrat and expect this great nation to continue to get better, and that means protecting those who are NOT cute, rich, famous, etc.