Grow a Pair

Maybe it's you who needs to grow a pair, pal (Monica Almeida/New York Times)

Maybe it’s you who needs to grow a pair, pal (Monica Almeida/New York Times)

Is it possible that Americans are making too big a deal out of bullying? If you’re Porterville, California Mayor Cameron Hamilton, then the answer seems to be “yes.”

Last week, KFSN out of Fresno reported on a Porterville City Council meeting where its leaders were discussing a proposal to create a “safe zone” for bullied students at Burton Middle School. And Hamilton wasted no time in making his controversial views known.

“I’m against bullying, but I’m getting damn tired of it being used as a mantra for everything and the ills of the world,” he said. “All most people have to do is grow a pair and stick up for their damn selves.”

Pretty enlightened view, huh?

Councilwoman Virginia Gurrola, who supported the safe zone proposal, immediately countered and said, “It is hard to stand up and ‘grow a pair’ when you’re maybe a 10-year-old little girl.” Of course, Hamilton had an answer for that, too.

“Then maybe the other 10-year-olds that think they want to stop bullying will stand up for her instead of a safe zone with a placard.”

Ultimately, Hamilton’s efforts were successful and the Burton Middle School students’ proposal was withdrawn. He later claimed that his message was that “together we can all fight this thing.” What he doesn’t seem to realize, however, is that safe zones also provide sanctuary for LGBT students, who seem to start questioning their sexuality at an earlier age now. Is this really the kind of message to send to them—that their feelings, internal struggles and mistreatment by others mean nothing?

What a piece of work…

Posted on May 21, 2014, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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