Notable News: Week of June 16-22, 2012

My apologies for not posting yesterday. It’s been a crazy week, with the end of school and various other things. But here it is, with only one highlight this week.

In case at least 20 of your closest friends haven’t already sent it to you or posted it on social media, here’s what happened. In my town, a few kids on a school bus verbally assaulted the bus monitor. I refuse to post a link here. Too many people have watched it already, I couldn’t stomach it myself, it would be highly triggering for some people, and the responses to the video have been disproportionate to the situation in a lot of ways.

A couple days ago (just in case you missed it) I had a major tweet rant. I had come home from church feeling refreshed, hoping to put a fairly lousy situation with one of my kids behind me. I went online to look at their professional portraits and share them on Facebook.

Instead of the usual “we had the best pizza for dinner!” and “my kid scored 10 goals!” status updates, my feed was crowded with posts about the bus situation. What struck me as strange was that approximately 98% of these posts were sympathetic to the kids, with no mention at all of the woman.

Not only that, the vast majority were about how tough the kids must have it at home, how they just need love and care, how we must forgive them. I agree, and I think the death threats are over the top. But I think the outpouring of support for them misses the mark.

It is reasonable to offer love and forgiveness without accepting the behavior. It’s not an either/or situation. The support and fundraising for the victim suffer from a similar problem. Caring for her does not mean throwing money at her, like that will resolve the issue.

We’re continuing to talk about this situation with our kids. What we are telling them is that we don’t bully back, that we stand up for others when we see bullying, and that we work on finding ways to reconcile with each other. We’re also teaching them that they don’t have to continue to endure bullying, nor should they ever instigate it.

My hope is that rather than watching this display with your families, you would instead spend some time together talking about how to handle these situations. Every family has the chance now to stop this cycle of hurt.

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