Kids really do follow your cue, no matter what you might think. This is especially true when it comes to bullying, which often mirrors society’s prejudices. This is why most bullying consists of sexual bullying. (Mirroring society’s neurosis on sex), and bullying minority students tends to rise and fall according to current events. When news coverage centers around “illegal emigrants” we saw a spike in bullying of Hispanic students. Now that terrorism is back in the news, Muslims are the targets.
A Case of Muslim Bullying
So it’s no surprise that a 7th grader in Vandalia, Ohio, is facing criminal charges after threatening to kill a Muslim classmate he had been bullying. He had apparently labeled the 6th-grade boy a “son of ISIS” and was harassing him as if he were a terrorist. In addition to the criminal charges, the boy may also face expulsion for his behavior.
How anti-Muslim messages in the media promote bullying
I’m going to take an educated guess and say that this boy was probably exposed to such messages at home. So watch what you say: kids really do listen, and being young and idealistic, they may take it to extremes you never imagined. It’s also important for parents to help their kids put the vitriol they see on TV into context.
More Bullying Resources
For more information on bullying we recommend the following resources: