Convened at the White House by the U.S. Department of Education, the forum was meant to draw attention to national, state and local efforts to curb the growing problem of bullying among children and teens that too often has resulted in pain, violence and even a rash of suicides attributed to long-term peer abuse.
At the forum, Mr. Obama revealed that his big ears were, in childhood, a source of teasing and humiliation. He acknowledged the difficulty of being perceived as different from others, especially during the formative middle school years. He called on all adults to consider the role they play in ensuring a safer environment for children.
The summit elevated awareness of our nation’s dire bullying problem, but it won’t accomplish much because no one seems to want to address the root of the problem.
The increase of bullying has been well-documented. In its 2010 survey of 40,000-plus teenagers, the Josephson Institute on Ethics for the first time asked teens about their experiences with bullying. Fifty percent of the students surveyed admitted that they had bullied others, and 47 percent said they had been the victims of bullying.
This means bullying isn’t the exception to the rule anymore; it’s simply a standard of behavior that about half of all children have grown to expect and exhibit.
Solutions to the bullying crisis come mostly in the form of school-based empathy training and diversity education, promoted most fervently by the gay-rights lobby, which has rallied around the issue of bullying as a means to promote gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youths and, more so, the gay-rights agenda.
But none of these so-called solutions gets to the heart of the problem, namely, the hearts of our children. It’s clear that our nation’s children are not being raised for goodness or strong moral character.
I don’t wonder why, when this is what we know about our children: A disturbing study about the use and effects of violent video games indicates that children’s exposure to violent video games over time can impede the development of empathy and sympathy for others.