There is absolutely no common sense when the State of New Jersey gets to decide if an eleven-year old is a bully for saying something to a vegetarian sixth grade classmate that he didn’t like hearing.
The sixth grade boy told a classmate “vegetarians are idiots”, “it’s not good to not eat meat,” and he should “eat meat because he’d be smarter and have bigger brains”.
An anti-bullying investigation was immediately launched by the goose-stepping school officials. This is what zero-tolerance and a draconian administration in government schools is all about.
The school then gave the offender five lunchtime detentions which sends a very harsh message about free speech. During the detentions, the staff planned to discuss with him as to why his comments are unacceptable. One has to wonder if indoctrination on vegetarianism might be included since they are now a protected class.
It’s not about the detentions which weren’t terrible, it’s about bullying experts coming down on a kid for making fun of someone. People have to learn to deal with opposing views.
The Montgomery Township school board claimed that the child – the eleven-year old – committed “harassment, intimidation, or bullying” of a classmate.
The child’s parents requested a hearing before the school board who agreed with the Superintendent’s decision. The parents appealed to the Commissioner of Education who found against them.
The parents’ case was based on whether vegetarianism was a “distinguishing characteristic”. Apparently it now is.
Administrative Law Judge John S. Kennedy said it was and it’s an insult, thus it’s bullying.
Kennedy cited a Jefferson Township case in which remarks that a student “sucks at basketball” were found to be unacceptable under state law because they were perceived as being motivated by the distinguishing characteristics of height, intelligence and athletic ability.
Kennedy also cited a case in Ridgewood in which a student calling another student a “horse” and “fat-ass” constituted bullying.
Why it got this far is hard to understand. It’s a colossal waste of time and money.
We now define bullying as insulting someone. Is this bullying or free speech? We can expect the liberals running our government schools to raise more generations of snowflakes.
This was a terrible lesson to teach the “victim” – the soon-to-be snowflake. He now knows he should go home and whine over nothing instead of handling it himself.
This is like the hate speech laws – insults are not allowed.
Would the same punishment have been leveled if the child told a meat eater that eating meat was stupid?