Posts tagged "Bullying"

glsen:

It’s finally here: Today is the Day of Silence! Reblog to show your support for everyone who’s participating. 

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

H/T: David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement

thepoliticalfreakshow:

over, 50%, of, sikh, children, are, bullied, in, school,, simply, because, of, their, faith,Over 50% of Sikh Children Are Bullied in School, Simply Because of Their FaithImage Credit: AP

Children who wear traditional religious garb are twice as likely to be bullied than their less conspicuous peers, a new report shows. 

Over 50% of Sikh children endure school bullying, according to a study from the Sikh Coalition of more than 700 Sikh students in Massachusetts, Indiana, Washington and California. It’s even worse for Sikhs who wear a turban, a staggering 67% of whom report being bullied. 

That’s a significant jump from the estimated rates of bullying in the U.S. The National Center for Education Statistics states that around 32% of all teenage students report being bullied in school, while the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has an even lower estimation of around 20%.

Sikh children are being tormented by other students who make fun of and rip off their turbans, hurl names such as “terrorist” and “Bin Laden” at them, and tell them to “Go back to their country.”

image

Image Credit: The Sikh Coalition

One student, known as L Singh in the report, recounts his experience being, along with his brother, the only Sikh in a California school. He wore his hair uncut in a topknot, and used to leave school in tears every day after being picked on by classmates. After two years, his mother visited the school, but that made no difference. “Teachers were racist out there,” he said. 

Eventually, his parents took him to the barber shop, where he took off his turban and cut his hair. Sing remembers his mother and father were crying. But again it made little difference. He was still bullied so badly that the family had to relocate to Indiana. 

For a Sikh, cutting the hair is seen as “the most grievous injury,” the director of the Sikh Coalition, Amardeep Singh, told Al Jazeera. “It’s like cutting your arm off, or a leg. Sikh history is replete with stories of Sikhs literally choosing death over having a haircut.”

There are more than 25 million Sikhs in the world, making Sikhism the fifth-largest religion. It’s tricky to determine the size of the U.S. Sikh population, because the census does not enquire about religion, but the Pew Research Center estimates that there are 200,000 American Sikhs, while the World Religion Database at Boston University has this number at 280,000.

Sikhs have lived in the U.S. for more than a century, according to the report, but have faced extra antagonism in the last decade, since 9/11 shook America.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

"Brown skin and turbans have popularly become associated with terror," the study explains. "Crude popular culture stereotypes of terrorists and damaging media images outside the classroom have made their way into the classroom, to the detriment of young Sikhs."

It’s also not just a school problem, as Sikh adults face hate crimesworkplace discriminationand mistreatment at airports. Last August — one year after a gunman killed six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc. — the U.S. Department of Justice said it would begin tracking hate crimes against Sikh-Americans for the first time in history. 

But the classroom is an important place to start. The report calls on Congress to prioritize the passage of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would require public schools to implement anti-harassment codes of conduct and report data on bullying to the Department of Education. It also wants to see inaccurate and inflammatory information about Sikhs — including “extraneous references to Sikh terrorists’” — removed from school text books.

That seems like a reasonable request, when more than half of Sikh children are being bullied.

Source: Lauren Davidson for Policy Mic

thepoliticalfreakshow:

In a rare interview, the Dalai Lama has said that he thinks same-sex marriage is “OK”, and voiced his disapproval at the bullying of LGBT people.

Speaking to Larry King, in an interview which will air on 10 March, the Tibetan spiritual leader said he thought that it was “OK” for same-sex couples to marry, but went on to say that it was “an individual’s business”.

On whether same-sex marriage should be universally accepted, he said: ”That’s up to the country’s law,” he told King. “I think [it’s] OK! I think that’s an individual’s business. If two people… really feel that way, it’s more practical, satisfaction, and both sides fully agree, then OK!”

When pressed by King on the issue of Russia’s anti-gay law, compared to the increasing number of US states with same-sex marriage, the Dalai Lama said he thought “traditions” should be protected.

He said: ”That I think [is] a personal matter,” he said. “People who have belief or who have special traditions, then you should follow according to your own tradition. Like Buddhism, there are different kinds of sexual misconduct, so you should follow properly.”

On anti-LGBT bullying, he said: “That is wrong,” he said. “That’s a violation of human rights.”

The full interview airs March 10 on Ora.tv, and a clip is available to view below.

justinssportscorner:

From the 02.19.2014 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:

Grow up, Rush, and retire for good!

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

Suit: California teachers joined in ‘t*tty-twisting Tuesdays’ and promoted racial bullying (via Raw Story )

A lawsuit filed this week accuses a northern California school district of creating a hostile environment for female and minority students. The suit, filed Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union against Eureka City Schools, makes dozens of…



 

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is a Scottsdale, AZ-based legal group committed to rolling back the rights of women and LGBT people on the grounds of “religious liberty.” The organization has played a leading role in combatting marriage equality and non-discrimination policies in the U.S. while working internationally to criminalize homosexuality. Despite its rabid anti-LGBT extremism, ADF receives reliably friendly treatment from Fox News.

Established as the Alliance Defense Fund in 1994, ADF’s founders include such religious right leaders as Focus on the Family’s James C. Dobson and Campus Crusade for Christ’s Bill Bright. According to ADF’s website, the organization changed its name to Alliance Defending Freedom in 2012 to highlight its “enduring mission to gain justice for those whose faith has been unconstitutionally denied in the areas of religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”

Headed by President, CEO, and General Counsel Alan Sears, staffed by more than 40 attorneys, and boasting an annual budget in excess of $30 million, ADF bills itself as “a servant ministry building an alliance to keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system.” As part of its effort to remake the American legal system along quasi-theocratic lines, ADF has:

  • Partnered with more than 300 like-minded institutions, including the Federalist Society, the Home School Legal Defense Association, the rabidly anti-LGBT Pacific Justice Institute, the Thomas More Law Center, anti-gay hate group the Family Research Council, the Heritage Foundation, and the now-defunct “ex-gay” organization Exodus International.
  • Filed a brief supporting statutory bans on gay sex in Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 case in which the Supreme Court ultimately found state anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional.
  • Opposed anti-bullying efforts in public schools, calling for exceptions for speech or actions based on religious views and decrying “tolerance training” and “special protection” for LGBT students.
  • Created its own "Day of Truth" to combat the Day of Silence, which commemorates LGBT victims of bullying, harassment, and violence.
  • Crusaded against a gay-inclusive Boy Scouts of America, calling the BSA’s decision to allow gay scouts an assault on “freedom” and working with churches that sponsor scout troops to work around the new membership policy.
  • Defended California’s same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8, in Hollingsworth v. Perry.
  • Offered free representation to Iowa county recorders who refused to provide same-sex couples with marriage licenses.
  • Dispatched chief counsel Benjamin Bull to Russia to meet with Yelena Mizulina, the legislative leader of that country’s crackdown on LGBT people.
  • Represented 18 plaintiffs challenging the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that for-profit employers cover contraception at no additional cost to employees.

ADF’s relentless legal campaign against LGBT equality led the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to describe the organization as "virulently anti-gay." SPLC proved instrumental in exposing an aspect of ADF’s work that the organization chooses not to tout on its website - its international work to criminalize homosexuality.

Drafted in accordance with other 19th-century British colonial laws, Section 53 of Belize’s criminal code bans “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal.” Violation of the code is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. In May 2013, gay rights activist Caleb Orozco launched a legal challenge to Section 53, enduring homophobic death threats as a result.

Section 53 is no mere anachronism in Belize. The SPLC highlighted a March report by the Heartland Alliance, which documented Belize’s climate of anti-LGBT violence and discrimination, stoked by laws like Section 53. The Heartland Alliance cited the brutal murder of an openly gay doctor and the slaying of a lawmaker’s gay brother, in addition to anti-LGBT harassment by law enforcement officers in the country. Media have further fanned homophobic sentiment in the country, particularly in light of the Section 53 challenge. Amandala - Belize’s top newspaper - has compared homosexuality to pedophilia, while online comment sections on the case are rife with anti-gay vitriol.

SPLC reported in July that ADF has rushed to the defense of Section 53, offering legal help to the right-wing group Belize Action. As SPLC notes, ADF has touted Belize Action’s defense of Section 53 without mentioning that it has supplied lawyers in the case.

Wholly unbothered by ADF’s anti-LGBT extremism, Fox News has repeatedly sought to elevate the organization to a position of respectability. Fox personalities have hosted ADF attorneys for softball interviews and openly celebrated the organization’s work - even going so far as to solicit donations for the organization.

Fox reporter Shannon Bream - among the network’s most consistent purveyors of the Christian persecution narrative so beloved by ADF - has made a name for herself as an cheerleader for anti-LGBT discrimination. On August 23, Bream conducted a one-sided interview with ADF senior counsel Jordan Lorence, who unsuccessfully defended a New Mexico photographer who refused to serve a same-sex couple. Pronouncing herself “confused” by a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling against the photographer, Bream - a trained attorney - suggested that businesses should be able to discriminate against gay customers.

After the photographer appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Fox host Megyn Kelly invited Lorence onto her show, The Kelly File. Kelly - also an attorney - stoked fears about the case, asking Lorence whether a loss for his client could lead to “a lawsuit by a gay couple that won’t, you know, see a wedding service performed in a Catholic Church.”

ADF’s work on the New Mexico case so inspired Fox contributor Erick Erickson that he wrote a post on his RedState.com blog begging readers to send money to the organization, saying that he had already done so himself. Casting ADF as “lone and brave warriors” in a battle against the irredeemably evil left, Erickson wrote: “Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant, then seeks to silence good. We must fund the fight for Truth and Light.”

While it’s hard to top Erickson’s enthusiasm for ADF, Fox host Bill O’Reilly came pretty close on the December 2 edition of The O’Reilly Factor. Hyping his annually-manufactured “War on Christmas” meme, O’Reilly showered ADF with praise for its efforts to fight “Happy Holidays syndrome.”

H/T: MMFA

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality joined the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios yesterday to discuss a lawsuit in Illinois challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage and the decision by the Boy Scouts of America to reaffirm their anti-gay policy. LaBarbera said that gay rights advocates are just like a school bully, and “like the little weakling in school who keeps giving up his lunch, we keep giving up our lunch to the bully and the bully is getting stronger and bolder and more vicious.” He warned that if Americans do not push back against “the homosexual lobby” then “they will run right over the country,” and praised the Boy Scouts of America for refusing to “cave into this latest pressure campaign by the homosexual lobby” and standing “with the silent majority.” 

NOTE: The Boy Scouts have since allowed— on May 23rd, 2013— LGBTQ youth in, but not LGBTQ adult leaders. Also, marriage equality is now the law in Illinois, effective June 1st, 2014 (or sooner). 

h/t: Right Wing Watch

The stigma and ignorance surrounding mental disabilities may have led the parents of teens who bullied a classmate with autism to blame the victim.

On Monday, WHO-TV reported that students at an Iowa high school had posted a video onlinemocking the involuntary movements of classmate Levi Null, a 13-year old with Asperger’s syndrome. “People tell me to run into things and I don’t really like it,” said Null, who also has ADHD. “And I tell them that I don’t want to and they just laugh at me, whenever I do it.”

On Thursday, it was revealed that the report had triggered an outpouring of support — for the accused bullies.

Some of those defending the teens who posted the video have turned to shaming the autistic victim. Levi Weatherly, a parent of one of the accused teens insisted his child was not wholly in the wrong. “Three-fourths of this stuff he brings on himself,” he said, “and probably a fourth of it is bullying that shouldn’t be going on.” One implied that he was asking for it: “This kid has done things to get people mad that I think he could probably control.”

But this sentiment betrays a basic ignorance of autism. According to advocacy group Autism Speaks, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are “characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors.” Like Levi Null’s Asperger’s syndrome, his repetitive movements and difficulties socializing are not voluntary, and he cannot turn them off at will.

The students and parents at Melcher-Dallas High School are not alone in their misunderstanding of mental disabilities. In schools, students viewed negatively because of mental disorders are often easy targets for bullying and unfair treatment at the hands of teachers. According to a report by the Interactive Autism Network, 63 percent of children with ASD aged 6 to 15 have experienced bullying, with kids like Levi who also have ADHD more likely to be victimized. Forty percent of ASD children have been punished by school teachers and administrators after suffering a meltdown or outburst in response to bullying.

Last year, the Huffington Post interviewed Stuart Chalfetz, a father who discovered that public school instructors were verbally abusing his autistic son. Chalfetz said his son was treated as if he were “subhuman.”

h/t: Christopher Butterfield at Think Progress Health

(via Pass The Salt Ministries head Daubenmire: “Not Allowing Christians To Bully Gays Is A Form Of Bullying Against Christians” | Right Wing Watch)

"Coach" Dave Daubenmire is back with another rant, this time against bullying; not against the act of bullying, mind you, which he says is just a fact a life and actually serves the purpose of making its victims tougher.

No, what Daubenmire is upset about it efforts to prevent bullying from taking place is rooted in efforts “to get people not to criticize or make fun of or poke fun at homosexuals.”  And when Christians can no longer say “something that their conscience tells them to say,” Daubenmire fumes, "then we see that majority begin to bully the minority" so now "we’re beginning to see Christians, and Christian idea, and Christian values become the most bullied things in all of this nation."

The end result, Daubenmire raged, is that previous generations “would be ashamed of how sissified we’ve allowed our children to become.”

h/t: RWW