Review of “Bullying Prevention Information: Resources for Schools” by Warren Throckmorton, June 2005.
In a personal email from Prof. Throckmorton to myself dated June 27th, he stated this package was among the material presented at last weekend’s PFOX education conference opposite the national PTA convention.
Throckmorton’s package is generic, bland and almost exclusively deals with the notion of bullying as if it were confined to Timmy having his milk money stolen.
Throckmorton fails to specifically mention racial, gender, religious or anti-gay bullying as particularly heinous forms of bullying. Bias motivated crimes are much more dangerous because they seek to terrorize an entire class of people, but Throckmorton ignores this and focuses on the generic and abstract. Throckmorton doesn’t even say the word “race” or “ethnicity” until page 17 of his 24-page document. After page 17 those items are mentioned at most, two more times. In the real world, where children are physically assaulted specifically because of their race and sexuality, Throckmorton’s program is irrelevant.
Let’s say a school has a bullying problem with Hispanic children being mocked and assaulted. After one particularly ugly incident the school finally recognizes they have a very specific problem and choose to implement a program. Now logically, would the school implement a generic anti-bully program? Or, responding to the specific problem of race-driven incidents, would the school choose a program targeting the problem?
To not specifically address the catalytic incidents with a focused anti-bully program is irresponsible, foolish and likely a legal liability when further incidents occur.
Throckmorton seems out of touch with the realities of harassment. As evidence, I offer his list on page 17 titled “TYPES OF BULLYING.”
Physical acts that are demeaning and humiliating but not bodily harmful
Locking in a closed or confined space
Physical violence against family or friends
Threatening with a weapon
Inflicting bodily harm
Teasing about clothing or possessions
Teasing about appearance
Verbal threats of aggression against property or possessions
Verbal threats of violence or of inflicting bodily harm
Threatening to reveal personal information
Publicly challenging to do something
Defacing property or clothing
Playing a dirty trick
Taking possessions (e.g. lunch, clothing)
Setting up to look foolish
Setting up to take the blame
Excluding from the group
Manipulating social order to achieve rejection
Threatening with total isolation by peer group
“Ethnic slurs.” That’s it. Note the almost complete absence of bullying which could be considered a bias-motivated crime.