Monday, February 13, 2012

We have to stop bullying because look what the outcome was at Columbine

You know, immediately after the Columbine tragedy, many news reporters said that the two perpetrators had been bullied. I've read a few tomes on the event (Columbine by Dave Cullin and Jeff Kass' Columbine a True crime story) and clearly, the two were not bullied. Yet, I've been to repeated in-services on bullying where this rumor is repeated. We have to stop bullying because look what the outcome of bullying was at Columbine, is the motto of these meetings. And I have two problems with that.

First, twelve years after the fact, no one with any inside knowledge believes Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold acted as revenge for bullying. In fact, Jeff Kass quotes a meeting of psychiatrists and psychologists who call Eric Harris a "full-fledged sociopath".

Second, I don't like the blame placed on the victim which is inherent in its logic: that if bullying isn't stopped the victim may be rendered a bigger bully than the original (like what happened at Columbine). Aren't we simply perpetuating the myth that victims are socially backwards people who more or less deserve to be bullied, with logic like that? Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were the bullies - not the victims.

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