Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

New study: school anti-bullying programs actually increase bullying

From The College Fix.

Excerpt:

Schools across the nation have implemented anti-bullying campaigns, complete with speakers, posters, slogans and more – but a recent study hailing from the University of Texas-Arlington claims such efforts may actually cause more bullying.

Essentially researchers suggest anti-bullying campaigns, despite good intentions, teach students how to bully or may even plant the seed inside students who had not exhibited aggressive behavior previously.

“One possible reason for this is the students who are victimizing their peers have learned the language from these anti-bullying campaigns and programs,” Seokjin Jeong, an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at UT-Arlington and lead author of the study, said in a campus statement.

Jeong did not respond to requests for comment by The College Fix. His research, titled “A Multilevel Examination of Peer Victimization and Bullying Preventions in Schools,” was recently published in The Journal of Criminology.

In an interview with CBS, he said his findings were a surprise – that his hypothesis going into the research was that anti-bullying programs would help curb the problem. Instead, he said he found the opposite was true, calling it “very disappointing.”

Today, 75 percent of schools report a violent incident to the police on a weekly basis and 25 percent of schools experience bullying on a daily basis, according to stats cited in the Journal of Criminology.

“Our anti-bullying programs, either intervention or prevention does not work,” Jeong said. “There is a possibility of negative impact from anti-bullying programs.”

[...]The study’s results state: “Surprisingly, bullying prevention had a negative effect on peer victimization. Contrary to our hypothesis, students attending schools with bullying prevention programs were more likely to have experienced peer victimization, compared to those attending schools without bullying prevention programs. It is possible that bullies have learned a variety of antibullying techniques but chose not to practice what they have learned from the program. Sometimes, bullies maintain their dominant social status among peers in school. As a result, the preventive strategies may become ineffective.”

I think that the troubling thing with anti-bullying programs is that they can be abused to restrict free speech. I think that a better solution to the problem of violence in schools is the same as the problem of violence in society. We need to promote marriage and encourage people to stay married using pro-marriage tax breaks and other pro-family policies.

Here is Dr. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation to explain:

Census data and the Fragile Families survey show that marriage can be extremely effective in reducing child poverty. But the positive effects of married fathers are not limited to income alone. Children raised by married parents have substantially better life outcomes compared to similar children raised in single-parent homes.

When compared to children in intact married homes, children raised by single parents are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems; be physically abused; smoke, drink, and use drugs; be aggressive; engage in violent, delinquent, and criminal behavior; have poor school performance; be expelled from school; and drop out of high school.[19] Many of these negative outcomes are associated with the higher poverty rates of single mothers. In many cases, however, the improvements in child well-being that are associated with marriage persist even after adjusting for differences in family income. This indicates that the father brings more to his home than just a paycheck.

The effect of married fathers on child outcomes can be quite pronounced. For example, examination of families with the same race and same parental education shows that, when compared to intact married families, children from single-parent homes are:

  • More than twice as likely to be arrested for a juvenile crime;[20]
  • Twice as likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems;[21]
  • Roughly twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school;[22] and
  • A third more likely to drop out before completing high school.[23]

The effects of being raised in a single-parent home continue into adulthood. Comparing families of the same race and similar incomes, children from broken and single-parent homes are three times more likely to end up in jail by the time they reach age 30 than are children raised in intact married families. [24] Compared to girls raised in similar married families, girls from single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to have a child without being married, thereby repeating the negative cycle for another generation.[25]

Finally, the decline of marriage generates poverty in future generations. Children living in single-parent homes are 50 percent more likely to experience poverty as adults when compared to children from intact married homes. This intergenerational poverty effect persists even after adjusting for the original differences in family income and poverty during childhood.[26]

People on the left claim that poverty causes crime, but they don’t look for the root cause of poverty. The root cause of poverty is the decline of marriage, which produces fatherless children. People on the left always want to solve every social problem with bigger government and more wasteful spending. But the research is pretty clear that natural marriage and the traditional family help children to behave better. When your only tool is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail. But this problem can’t be solved from the top down, it has to be solved from the bottom up – with families.

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Democrats push for school quotas and speech codes in defense bill amendment

Washington D.C. lawyer Hans Bader explains at College Insurrection blog.

Excerpt:

Suing schools and colleges has nothing to do with supporting our troops.

But that didn’t stop Senators from seeking to add an amendment, SA 3215, to the 2013 Defense Authorization bill on Thursday, containing provisions that would overturn two Supreme Court rulings in order to promote such lawsuits. The amendment, proposed by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), would dramatically expand the reach of two federal statutes, Title VI and Title IX, to allow colleges, schools, and recipients of federal funds to be sued for “disparate impact.”

Disparate impact is what people call school policies that have no motive to discriminate, but end up affecting some groups more than others. For example, standardized tests for mathematics have nothing to do with race, but some racial groups perform better than others. The Democrats think that this is grounds for a lawsuit, apparently.

More:

The amendment, backed by trial lawyers, would also allow colleges, schools, and other institutions to be sued for unlimited punitive damages.

[...]The specter of liability for disparate impact could make schools get rid of standardized tests designed to ensure that students are really learning, and detect failing schools, since all but the easiest standardized tests arguably have a racially “disparate impact.”

It could also result in racial quotas in school discipline. The Obama Administration has alreadypressured some school districts to adopt de facto racial quotas in school discipline (school districts are reluctant to defy the Administration’s legally-dubious demands lest it cut off their federal funds), requiring even liberal school districts that already bend over backwards not to suspend disruptive black students to cut their suspension rates, and spend millions of dollars to comply with bureaucratic dictates imposed by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, where I used to work.

[...]Expanding Title VI liability and punitive damages could also lead to more campus speech codes, as colleges, terrified of racial harassment liability under Title VI, clamp down on any speech that might conceivably contribute to what is perceived as a racially hostile learning environment.

Hans explains why these laws cause schools and universities to create “speech codes”:

But schools persist in imposing overbroad harassment policies, both because they would rather be sued for First Amendment violations than for racial or sexual harassment… and because private colleges are not directly subject to the First Amendment at all, but can be sued for racial and sexual harassment.

[...][T]o avoid liability, private colleges in particular may clamp down on campus speech about racial and sexual issues like affirmative action and feminism, lest such speech provide potential “building blocks” of a hostile environment claim under the “totality of circumstances” test.

Trial lawyers are one of the groups that donate a lot of money to Democrats, so naturally they will be happy with any law that makes more business for them.

 

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Gay rights activists vandalize church for posting pro-marriage sign

Anti-marriage gay activists vandalize church

Anti-marriage gay activists vandalize church

From the Newcastle Herald (Australia). (H/T Bill Muehlenberg)

Excerpt:

Vandals attacked Wallsend Presbyterian Church last night in response to a message criticising same-sex marriage displayed on the building’s outside notice board.

The church on Nelson Street had updated its message board last week to read “Even tradies know you need both male and female joints to make a marriage”.

The front of the 1867 building, which recently received a $12,000 makeover, was defaced with messages such as ‘‘sexuality is not a choice’’ and ‘‘love thy neighbour not hate gays’’.

Reverend Dr Ian Copland said the sign was a play on words and he wanted people to talk about the issue being raised in federal parliament.

He said he has no regrets despite the outcome.

‘‘This is not going to stop me,’’ he said.

Two bills to legalise same-sex marriage were introduced in Federal Parliament this week.

‘‘It’s obviously a reaction to the sign but I have no malice towards the vandals,’’ Rev Copland said.

‘‘It only takes one or two cowards you can’t blame the whole homosexual community. That would be wrong.’’

This is not the first time the church has been attacked regarding its stance on same-sex marriage.

The signboard was vandalised about six months ago when the reverend posted a similar message.

Don’t expect to see this story plastered on all the newspapers in the world for six months. It doesn’t fit the mainstream media’s secular leftist worldview.

Bill writes:

So this is how the tolerant brigade makes its case: by attacking and defacing and causing damage to a church. Yep, we sure do love how you guys do business. All that love and tolerance is just oozing out here. But if this were not bad enough, look closely at that photo again.

Did you see one of the bits of graffiti? It says this: “Tolerance is a virtue”. I kid you not. Look at it again! Don’t you just love how these guys demonstrate all their wonderful love of tolerance? They bend over backwards trying to be the most intolerant bunch in the country. And they are succeeding just fine.

As I mentioned, no commentary is really needed here. Just soak in the irony, the duplicity, the double standards and the hypocrisy. I love it when these guys make our case for us. I could never have done such a good enough job to demonstrate all this. So they kindly go and do it for me.

Thanks guys. Keep it up. We expect to see even more such cases of love, acceptance and tolerance in the near future. We know full well how you operate, and we look forward to more expressions of tolerance.

Click here for a sampling of anti-marriage vandalism, violence and harassment from anti-Prop 8 gay activists.

Please note: comments to this post will be filtered based on Obama’s law restricting free speech on controversial issues.

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How the left uses “bullying” to restrict free speech that offends them

From Hans Bader at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Full text: (links removed)

A school superintendant has labeled a column in a school newspaper thatcriticized homosexuality as “bullying.” (The Shawano High School newspaper decided to run dueling student opinion pieces on whether same-sex couples should be able to adopt children; the student article that was labeled as “bullying” answered the question “no.” The school district also publicly apologized for the column, and said that it is “taking steps to prevent items of this nature from happening in the future.”)

Whatever the wisdom (or lack thereof) of featuring something like that in a school newspaper, it seems strange to argue that a viewpoint in a student newspaper is “bullying.” (The Shawano School District’s bullying policy provides that “bullying” may lead to “warning, suspension,” “expulsion,” etc.) A conservative Christian who thought that homosexuality was immoral successfully challenged a school “harassment” code that punished students with such viewpoints in Saxe v. State College Area School District(2001), a case in which a federal appeals court ruled that there is no “harassment” exception to the First Amendment for speech which offends members of minority groups. Speech cannot be banned simply by labeling it as violence, either: for example, in Bauer v.Sampson, another federal appeals court ruled that a campus newspaper’s illustration depicting a college official’s imaginary death was protected by the First Amendment, even though the college declared it a violation of its policy against “workplace violence.”

But schools and anti-bullying activists have adopted incredibly overbroad definitions of bullying. The anti-bullying website NoBully.com, and schools like Fox Hill and Alvarado Elementary, define even “eye rolling” and other expressions of displeasure or hostility as bullying, even though doing so raises First Amendment problems.

The Obama administration claims bullying is an “epidemic” and a “pandemic.” But in reality, bullying and violence have steadily gone down in the nation’s schools, as studies funded by the Justice Department have shown. The Obama administration’s StopBullying.gov website defines a vast array of speech and conduct as bullying: it classifies “teasing” as a form of “bullying,” and “rude” or “hurtful” “text messages” as “cyberbullying.” Since “creating web sites” that “make fun of others” also is deemed “cyberbullying,” conservative websites that poke fun at the president are presumably guilty of cyberbullying under this strange definition. (Law professors such as UCLA’s Eugene Volokh have criticized bills by liberal lawmakers like Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) that would ban some criticism of politicians as cyberbullying.)

It’s very important to understand what liberals mean when they say “bullying” and how they use it to silence those who might offend them. It’s using government power to force individuals to accept the morality of the state. There’s a word for that.

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Frank Turek asks: how would same-sex marriage affect society?

His latest post from Cross-Examined  explores the consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage on children and society.

Excerpt:

The law is a great teacher, and same sex marriage will teach future generations that marriage is not about children but about coupling. When marriage becomes nothing more than coupling, fewer people will get married to have children.

So what? People will still have children, of course, but many more of them out-of wedlock. That’s a disaster for everyone. Children will be hurt because illegitimate parents (there are no illegitimate children) often never form a family, and those that “shack up” break up at a rate two to three times that of married parents. Society will be hurt because illegitimacy starts a chain of negative effects that fall like dominoes—illegitimacy leads to poverty, crime, and higher welfare costs which lead to bigger government, higher taxes, and a slower economy.

Are these just the hysterical cries of an alarmist? No. We can see the connection between same-sex marriage and illegitimacy in Scandinavian countries. Norway, for example, has had de-facto same-sex marriage since the early nineties. In Nordland,the most liberal county of Norway, where they fly “gay” rainbow flags over their churches, out-of-wedlock births have soared—more than 80percent of women giving birth for the first time, and nearly 70 percent of allchildren, are born out of wedlock! Across all of Norway, illegitimacy rose from 39 percent to 50 percent in the first decade of same-sex marriage.

Anthropologist Stanley Kurtz writes,“When we look at Nordland and Nord-Troendelag — the Vermont and Massachusetts of Norway — we are peering as far as we can into the future of marriage in a world where gay marriage is almost totally accepted. What we see is a place where marriage itself has almost totally disappeared.” He asserts that “Scandinavian gay marriage has driven home the message that marriage itself is outdated, and that virtually any family form, including out-of-wedlock parenthood, is acceptable.” But it’s not just Norway. Blankenhorn reports this same trend in other countries. International surveys show that same-sex marriage and the erosion of traditional marriage tend to go together. Traditional marriage is weakest and illegitimacy strongest wherever same-sex marriage is legal. 

You might say, “Correlation doesn’t always indicate causation!” Yes, but often it does. Is there any doubt that liberalizing marriage laws impacts society for the worse? You need look no further than the last 40 years of no-fault divorce laws in the United States (family disintegration destroys lives and now costs taxpayers $112 billion per year!).

No-fault divorce laws began in one state, California, and then spread to rest of the country. Those liberalized divorce laws helped change our attitudes and behaviors about the permanence of marriage. There’s no question that liberalized marriage laws will help change our attitudes and behaviors about the purpose of marriage. The law is a great teacher, and if same-sex marriage advocates have their way, children will be expelled from the lesson on marriage.

These are things that Christians need to know to intelligently discuss same-sex marriage. Most of his facts are things that I’ve blogged about before, but it helps to have it all in one place. The only concern I have is that you cannot even talk about the issue using facts any more – because you get shut down.

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