Tuesday, December 12

How to Deal With Homophobic Bullying in Schools

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Unfortunately, homophobic bullying is on the rise in schools and society at large. It is systemic of larger issues that are manifested by extreme hatred and horrible, traumatic violence. In a more liberal, evolved society, homosexuality is becoming more commonplace and now far more tolerated. With racial violence in schools now on the decline, it is being replaced by the same level of hate crimes: now just directed against homosexuals, lesbians and transgenders. Even some people, who were once discriminated against because of color and national origin, are now active participants. This may be out of cultural reactions to homosexuality. At large, anybody openly gay may be challenging other people’s sexuality.

With all the news in the media about gays being driven to suicide by relentless bullying, it is becoming front and center in our society. We’ve grown so much as a society in dealing with racism, sexism, but when it comes to homosexuality, for some there is a disconnect between that and reality. For somebody who is gay and being bullied, fighting back physically and mentally can be an alternative. However, this opens them up to a relentless assault by bullies, who will almost feed off the negative energies coming from the person. If somebody communicates to the bully that they are being bothered-the bully will know that they are being affected. So how does one deal with it? Go to the school authorities and tell them.

For many, this is not an easy thing to do. Kids in school are all interconnected with other kids, and possibly similarly-themed ideas and beliefs. Even in a more liberated society, being gay is still hard. For teens, it is a lot worse because they have to go to school and be around it throughout the school day. Adults are bad when it comes to homophobia and homophobic violence-but teens can be as bad and worse-for they have their victims in the cross hairs more so, through school, off-campus associations and the such. Plus, they are more immature and able to absorb the hatred and the misconceptions far more than adults.

If a teen feels scared about reporting a bully, they should talk to their parents and have them accompany them to report it. Schools are supposed to have a zero-tolerance policy for this. If a school-age child is facing extreme bullying, for the sake of their own physical and mental health they have to reort it. There can be no guarantees that it wont escalate further. But usually a very sharp reprimand and expulsion will deal with it adequately. A harassed, gay teen can transfer, but if he/she backs down to one-the harassment will never stop. Educators should also deal with it in a forceful manner, not forgetting their commitment to all kids in their charge.

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