Clarification: MFC is aware that some readers have concluded that MFC is calling on the victims to stand up to the bullies by themselves. This is a misconception. MFC is calling on students who are not being bullied to stand up for the ones who are being bullied - including bullied students who identify as GLBT. Students can do this by using humor, alerting a school official, leading the bullied student away from the bully, or by telling the bully to knock it off. One study showed that when peers intervened, bullying stopped within 10 seconds 57% of the time.
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There has been a lot written about the tragic suicide of an Anoka-Hennepin district student and how best to protect students. Rather than bringing people together to produce real solutions, it has generated more controversy and driven people further apart. MFC is calling on all people of good will to find common ground, even with those we might disagree with, so we can stand together against the bullying of children in our schools.
The loss of a child to suicide is excruciatingly painful. When bullying plays a role it must seem unbearable. Our hearts and prayers go out to the bereaved parents, friends and loved ones of Justin Aaberg and all families that have suffered the same tragic loss.
MFC is strongly opposed to all kinds of bullying – and that includes students who identify themselves as GLBT students. The bullying of students, because of their skin color, their looks, appearance, beliefs or because they identify themselves as GLBT, should never be tolerated. Current state law requires that each school district have a bullying policy. MFC strongly supports these policies and believes they should be vigorously enforced.
As teachers and school officials can’t be everywhere, MFC is calling on parents and students to join with their school officials and stand up to the bullies in their schools. An excellent example is Jesus who stood up for the woman who was about to be stoned. He didn’t agree with her behavior but confronted those attempting to bully her.
Imagine the impact of dozens of students in every school district standing up to the bullies! Studies show that when peers intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds, 57% of the time. this is a highly effective response to bullying. We believe Jesus’ example, and the bringing together of parents, students, teachers and school officials would have an immediate impact on putting an end to the bullying and the tragic suicides.
Some are calling for the Anoka-Hennepin school district to adopt highly controversial “homophobia” curricula, which has ignited division amongst parents, students and teachers in school districts across the state. MFC does not support “homophobia” curricula as it crosses the line from addressing bullying words and behavior to targeting the values and beliefs of students and undermining the authority of parents regarding homosexuality, homosexual “marriage”, and same sex relationships.
An example of “homophobia” curricula is “Welcoming Schools” developed by the nations largest homosexual lobbying group, the Human Rights Campaign Fund.
In 2008, MFC examined “Welcoming Schools” when it was introduced in a handful of Minneapolis elementary schools under the guise of anti-bullying. MFC found it had very little to do with stopping bullying and more to do with changing children’s beliefs, values and attitudes towards homosexual “marriage”, relationships, and behavior.
“Welcoming Schools” immediately ignited enormous controversy, and vicious attacks on a diverse group of parents who peacefully objected to its content and methods. Lessons included reading controversial books like “The King and King”, and “Both of My Moms’ Names are Judy”, to elementary school children. It included a video, “It’s Elementary” that showed an eight-year-old girl receiving praise from her teacher for saying people who believe what the Bible says about homosexuality are “stupid.” This video and others were so clearly geared towards homosexual advocacy that significant portions of the curricula were pulled by the Minneapolis school district because the parental outcry was so great.
Concerned parents told the Minneapolis School Board that “Welcoming Schools” encouraged children to “question the moral authority of their parents and created conflict between child and teacher, child and parent, and parent and teacher.” We are concerned that efforts to introduce “homophobia” curricula in Anoka-Hennepin and other districts will do the same while not addressing the concern of bullying.
Instead of forcing one-sided “homophobia” curricula on students and parents, MFC recommends examining more fair and objective alternatives that focus on the wrong behavior of the bullies and are inclusive of all children who are at high risk of being bullied such as children with allergies, disabilities and obesity, etc..
Let’s stop focusing on what divides us and start fighting the bullies by joining together in condemning the bullying of all children – including “GLBT” students. MFC urges parents and children to join their school district and stand up to the bullies – just like Jesus did.