The Las Vegas Guardian has the story Nebraska School Faces Heat on Facebook for Bullying Message.
I was incensed when I read this story yesterday. What kind of message does the principal of the school send when she writes comments such as “Would we keep our friends if we tattled on them?” and “It’s the person who retaliates or responds, who actually starts the fight” and “No one likes a sore loser”?
I can see giving advice on how to stand-up to a bully, but blaming the victim is exactly the wrong attitude. Standing up to a bully may be reasonable advice to someone who can do it. However, for someone who is not capable of doing it, making that person feel inadequate is only to double the pain. It leaves the victim feeling alone and unprotected by the very people who should be responsible for protecting him or her.
In fact, a victim might be better able to stand-up to the bully if he or she knew that the adults in the world would also stand-up for the victim if the situation were to get out of hand.
You can tell how well a person has internalized this stupid message by their reactions to criminal behavior as adults. Look at the Whitey Bulger case in Boston. Some adults are more incensed that Bulger might have been an informant for the FBI than they are incensed by the murders he committed and the terrorism that he used in Boston. The way that the FBI protected their informant may also be a reflection of internalizing the stupid message. The FBI seemed more concerned about their informant than they were about the victims. Although it may just have been a case of plain old corruption in the FBI.
This idea that it is abhorrent to be a snitch is something that needs to be stamped out. If the principal of the school in Nebraska cannot show that she has learned how seriously wrong her attitude is (not just that the wording is wrong), then she ought to be fired.