Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mix It Up Day Stirs It Up

by Pa Rock
Former Educator

Two weeks from today, on Tuesday, October 30th, over two thousand high schools across the United States will participate in "Mix It Up at Lunch Day," an event designed to break students out of their cliques and have them associate with kids from beyond their normal social circles during lunch.  The event is part of the Teaching Tolerance curriculum of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and it has been growing in strength across the American educational system for the past eleven years.

A primary objective of "Mix it Up Day" is to eliminate bullying in the schools.  The topic is often addressed across the curriculum on the day of the event.   The more students know and understand one another, the less fertile ground will exist for bullying.

Of course, not every segment of society is against bullying, even when it results in traumatized kids harming or even killing themselves.  Take for instance that sanctimonious coven of Bible thumpers that calls itself the American Family Association.   This group of fundamentalist extremists see the activity as an overt attempt by the SPLC to promote a "homosexual lifestyle."  They are contacting parents urging them to file complaints with schools about the activity and to keep their kids at home on that day.  So far God's avengers have bullied two hundred schools into forgoing the event this year.

A couple of years ago the American Family Association pointed their hoary finger at Home Depot, saying that company also promoted a homosexual lifestyle.  Name-calling is something that the "religious" group is good at, a bullying tactic that is easy to employ and hard to fight.  They certainly don't want to lose their training ground for bullying - America's public schools.

Bigotry and bullying are learned behaviors that more often than not originate in the home.   The Southern Poverty Law Center and America's public schools are truly doing great work in trying to change these ingrained, learned behaviors and stem the tide of hatred and ignorance.  Their efforts would make Jesus proud.

No comments: