Friday, June 22, 2012

How to Raise a Bully

Grade schoolers cussing out bus monitors?  Karen Klein, 68, was hit with a barrage of profanity from pre-adolescent school children.  They make sexual taunting passes at her, and blame her for her eldest son suicide that happened 10 years ago.  If you watch the viral video, you see the children are relentless, even continuing while Mrs. Klein cries.  Throughout the video you feel extreme discomfort and sympathy for this poor woman.  However, those who work with students on a regular basis may not be too surprised by the taunting.  Teachers, aids, and monitors are being cussed out regularly.  I was cussed out by a seven year old in the parking lot of our church.  While this incident with Mrs. Klein goes far and beyond most cases, I believe it is a sign of the continuing trend of our society.

Yahoo recently released on article detailing the "non-issue of profanity and nudity in television.  Censorship is turning down the "bleeps" and the "blurs" of foul language and nudity, and allowing more to been seen and heard.  Censors believe there is too much censorship!

Another trend is happening if you watch the Disney network.  "Innocent" and "kid friendly shows" are containing more themes of disrespect to bumbling parents and clueless adults.  I challenge you to watch a show and count the times the adults disrespected or considered idiots.

Another article has just been released that reveals teens spend an average of 10 hours a day connected to media (tv, computer, music). 

Kids are plugged into more media, media is showing more language and sexual content, and children are using more language, sexual content, and practicing complete disrespect.  Do you suppose there may be a connection?

I have spent the last month without watching television (except for a few minutes of a Cubs game when I was visiting a sick friend).  Also in the last month I have only listened to the radio 4 different times, less than 30 minutes each time.  During this month, I have extra time to read, go to the park with my daughter, and pray.  The best part is not what I am getting, but what I am missing, all the negative messages.

The principle made an official statement assuring the public that the students who participated in the hazing would receive discipline, but what about everyone else?  Don't we all deserve some punishment in this?  This is not High School students throwing these insults, they are middle schoolers.  Are we not to blame in putting these words, these sexual images, these scenarios of entertainment that encourage disrespect before their influential eyes?  Could we actually say these students ought to know better when they have not been shown better?

W only know what we see.  You cannot expect someone to know better when they don't see respect, love, kindness, and patience lived out.  It is not enough to verbally teach the meaning of such words, they must be seen in action.

When Jesus called his disciples he did not call them into a classroom, tell them to open and text book and read the definitions of love, respect, and forgiveness.  Jesus did not just teach his disciples, he showed them.  When he called them he said "Follow me."  When he told them it is better to serve than rule, he showed them by washing their feet.  And when Jesus wanted his disciples to learn the depth and power of forgiveness, he surrendered himself to death on a cross.

Our children are simply living out the lessons they are taught on the internet, television, music, and us adults.  It is time we start showing the lessons children out to live out, and block the message that we do not want them to practice.  It is perfectly acceptable to refuse to allow children to watch violent images, sexual images, and prevent them from hearing offensive language and negative lyrics. 

I think it is time we act like adults and begin showing our children what is commendable, and blocking what is condemnable.  Let us clean up our act, clean up the media we allow to influence our children, and clean up our schools.


  1. Great insight Ben. Thanks for the challenge. Can I use this for my congregation?

  2. Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well.

    Have a blessed day!

    In Christ,
    Dakota - A Look at Life from a Deerstand