Thursday, February 04, 2010

Day 13: Mad about this stupid article!

I came across this really irresponsible and misleading article about bullying on the front page of Yahoo yesterday. The link I provided above is actually to the original article in Live Science, which includes comments from disgruntled readers at the bottom. The Yahoo article has no space for such commentary, which I find upsetting, since Yahoo is such a widely viewed site. I posted the article on Facebook yesterday because I was so upset by it and basically wanted to see if anyone else felt the same way. Many people responded that they, too, had issues with it. The article is based on a study, which could possibly have actually been a good study. But, the article about it leaves so many important things out, it strikes me as incredibly irresponsible journalism.

The article is about why kids get bullied and rejected at school and comes to the conclusion that it is because they have poor social skills and difficulty interpreting nonverbal cues from peers. Not only does it not address the obvious factor that kids who *bully* have psychological issues (desire for retaliation, poor impulse control), but it also doesn't acknowledge that if a kid isn't raised in a home that prepares him/her to give witty retorts to aggressors, the inability to do so might only be because of *inexperience*, not poor social skills (as a friend pointed out). And then, of course, there are parents who teach their kids to "turn the other cheek" and not engage in fighting! Poor parenting??! This article really incensed me! It seems to me like the message in it is that bullying is an important and normal social skill that is crucial to normal development and if one doesn't learn how to engage in it, there is something wrong with them. Aargh!

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