What is the Anti Defamation League
It is said that bullying is not a momentary youthful folly, but a lifetime activity for those who have gotten away with it since childhood. When school performance is low, so is self-esteem. In the most tragic cases, the prevalence of student-on-student violence, self-inflicted violence, and suicide are sourced in bullying.
To be a youth in the 21st century, is to be a master of flexible identities of sorts. If the Web has brought us continuous interactivity with information, is has also introduced the mediated intransigence of violence within the cognitive existence of youth.
Entertainment, a staple of everyday consumption, instigates the perpetration of violence as a style, a model of play, and sociability; pushing the boundaries of vicissitude and pain to the point of endangerment. Violence, it seems, is at the core of our taken for granted priorities and desires. Child audiences, bombarded with media violence, now experience bullying and hate speech as mere conventions of everyday terror.
School Bullying in the Media
October 2010, shock rang through the nation as another teen, pushed over the edge by a derogatory text message resultant from an on-campus fight at Graham-Kapowsin High School committed suicide. Within the United States, suicide is one of many such incidences of student-on-student bullying that led to fatal harm.
A decade after the deadly Columbine High rampage in Colorado, the Washington State case resonates with continued fears that America’s children are at risk of mortal danger at school. Blame sits at the core of the mental state expressed as rationale for conducting violence by actors such as Dylan Klebold, the 17 year old Columbine killer who reportedly stated, “you made me what I am. You added to the rage.”
If it was shooter, Klebold’s statement that sent the nation reeling with terror at the end result of bullying at school, it also sent a crucial warning to both parents and educators about the inefficiency of current mechanisms toward risk assessment and management of youth escalating toward destruction. Since the 1999 Columbine incident, much has been done to improve the adequacy by which institutions and families work together.
The challenge has been sourcing effective tools for negotiation of structural relationships with youth whom they are engaged. Public administrators have long been aware that violence affects scores. Bettering insight into student performance seems to be the crucible to clear communication about “how a student is doing” and where problem areas might be sufficiently addressed.
The Dangers of as Media Mentor
Monitoring violence has been identified as the singular most important strategy for combating universal devolution of self-confidence in you. The more insidious and pervasive bullying and dominance persist within popular culture as tropes of masculine behavior, the harder they are to combat.
Violence in the media cannot be readily addressed by parents without singlehandedly removing all access to television viewership when not present to assist in selection of appropriate youth programming. Indeed, many parents are either too busy, or even involved in violent behaviors themselves to entirely consider such a tactic.
How hate messages infiltrate the lives of minor children also coincides with how knowledge is now learned in the classroom. Access to the Internet is a significant factor in research on bullying and everyday violence. Mass media enhances the voracity of emotional contact and redefinition of right and wrong. Stereotypes permeating the media, serve as guiding principles in the selection of friends, social activities, and personal identity.
The Popularization of a Hyper-Violent Identity
According to Anti-violence educator, Jackson Katz (1999), in Tough Guise: Violence, the Media and the crisis in masculinity, the proliferation of violence in media is certainly unconstrained to the point that it is the “norm rather than the exception” to other forms of representation and success within US society (Media Education Foundation, 1999). Establishing Moral Agency “Moral agency” it is said, is to establish accountability for ethical decision-making. Decisions and actions that may cause harm or even death, then, are accorded a person only if determined to be capable of moral obligation.
In Western Philosophy, there are two requirements of moral agency: (a) Cognition: The capacity to know a decision or act is good v. evil, and (b) Volition: The freedom to choose one course of action as opposed another. In the second requirement (that of volition), we would ordinarily not consider a person accountable for their acts if those acts were not freely chosen.
Mind is the requirement of free will. If the person were biologically or socially determined. or under a threat of violence or coercion, it is virtually impossible to consider their actions a result of mind. Generally, children are not considered capable of distinguish fact from fantasy and, thus, good from evil. Consequently, we tend not to hold children to the same standards of conduct as adult parties where intense provocation is present.
Hate Websites and Mens Rea
Media, and in particular websites are a serious concern for parents and anti-violence educators for the reasons mentioned. Hate websites designed to perpetrate violence against groups of people considered to be outside the network of members, are especially threatening once understood as volitional adult associations.
Attracting youth to hate is not necessarily a difficult feat, yet the proposition of organized and sustained hate has the potential power to seduce, and ultimately degrade those who participate. The confusion experienced by children searching for acceptance, can at times result in messages of hate turned inward as well as outward; in spite of conjecture of that defamation, libel, and slander is external to those who believe.
The incursion of media in home life also may play a role in domestic violence. Teens that are informed that violence is a core assumption in everyday life, also have a tendency to bully or be bullied. Normalization of violence does is not unusual in cases were students undergoing issues of negligence and/or temporary mental incompetency by parents.
Circumstances such as custody battles and drug addiction interfering with parental proprietary rights of supervision over a child, pose an ethical dilemma in respect to a ‘duty to a standard of reasonable care’. Duty once place in the proverbial hands of the state, or supervision of a boarding school or outside institution, complicates the parental authority as a threat; also asserting another layer authority over an individual minor’s right to protection.
What to Do If a Child Is Bullying
Bullying as a result of in-home instability, or excessive exposure to violence is a legal liability. Knowledge of a child’s position or feelings in regard to life transitions may be hidden, yet cases on broken homes evidence that if sentiments of inadequacy are present in the family, those feelings are often played out through interaction with others at school.
By focusing on a ‘care based’ ethics framework, attention to the particular needs of a bullying or bullied student (i.e. a psychologically ill child suffering from neglect) can change be effectively promoted toward the elimination of violence. It is through a ‘care based’ policy of intervention that parental and school ‘duty’ is clarified; an express rule that has the potential to foster better decision making. It is also at the axis of student-school guardian agreement that family law and tort law concur.
Where bullying is concerned, juvenile offenders have been tried and convicted as adults more often in the past several decades. Moral agency and its implications in jurisprudence center the discussion on the mental state of the bully, and the intent to violence in commission of those crimes.
In respect to U.S. criminal law, rules on mens rea set limits on culpability and responsibility to acts according to the interpretation of mental state as intent. The capacity to tell good from evil is decisively subjective; until we consider rule of law as the determining force in the expiation of moral knowledge, as well as the guideline to reasonable enforceability. Parents are the key to mitigating risk of moral agency gone awry.
Solving a child’s bullying is an urgent mandate. To not do so may threaten they and their classmates’ lives. What is ADL? Bullying.com in partnership with the Anti Defamation League (ADL) and Jewish Anti Defamation League (JADL) work together in the interest of fulfilling the Anti-Defamation League goal of creating greater awareness about the impact of hate websites on youth in trouble. The ADL and JADL anti defamation statement is the mission of the ADL Anti Defamation League.