Ask The Principal

Sunday, July 16, 2006

One way the bully says everything without saying anything

Remember that the bully isn't always overt in his/her actions or statements. In fact, subtlety is an art form for many bullies, that is, subtle to the adult that would disapprove.

One of the best methods of communication for the bully is in how he/she dresses. Can you spot a bully a mile off? That's why. The manner of dress is a powerful communication tool. Over or undersized clothing, hats worn slightly, or completely askew, one pant leg rolled up, the other down, various name brands, etc. The school uniform movement is a result of schools trying to get a handle on the violent, fearful, intimidating, provocative ideas that are communicated by students to establish the peer level social hierarchy.

The dress code that most schools have is another tool to control this type of harassment directed at all staff and students. Yes, I consider how a student dresses a communicative act and thereby constitutes harassment if the message says "fear me". Other messages of "indulge in sin like me", "lust after me", "be arrogant like me" are readily observed. You know "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but from the world." (I John 2:16).

These communicative acts take place every time your son or daughter looks at this other student. Value judgments, temptations, emotional reactions to varying degrees, all take place in a moment at every glance. All day long. 180 days a year.

Serious quality discipleship that happens in the home of the family that sends it's children to public school may counter the negative effects to a certain degree, but how many Christian homes of publicly educated children have serious quality discipleship? I dare say most don't. I dare say that many feel the 10-15 minutes 2-3 times a week of family devotion (if that)/Bible reading with a heavy reliance upon Sunday School and the church youth ministry is actually going to "equip" their children to be "salt and light", little missionaries if you will, in an environment that is antithetical to anything that is of God.

I know I make bold here, but the head of each home needs to look at the current level of the nurture and admonition of the Lord in the life of their children. Try to be objective and weigh the outcome desired in the life of your child who is in public school, or is in a homeschool environment. Which enables the greatest degree of holy living? I believe that you will find in most cases that the choice is obvious, just not necessarily that easy to make.

I'm wrapping up the "bully" series at this point. It is a little dark and I'd like to put my thoughts in another direction.

Sorry for the length of time between posts as well. I have been on a 2-week road-trip with my oldest son...a father and son adventure that included history (from firing a Confederate cannon at Vicksburg to a shootout at Dodge City), geography (mountains, plains, rivers, divides), geology(geodes, volcanoes, fossils and petrified forests and relating them to ante/post diluvian flood observations/theory), mathematics (used up some great road time across the plains working on math facts....which he really enjoyed by the way), and writing (postcards home from various points of interest). A great bonding time with my 8-year-old.

I also have been, since my return, Mr. Mom (to aide my wonderful, adorable, sweet, patient, loving, humorous, helpmeet, in her time of extreme pregnancy) since we are expecting #5 any day. The official due date is 7/21, but the 4 prior children all seemed to hang on an extra 8-10 days or so. In the meantime I've been cooking and cleaning a lot, and the kids have been learning how to do household chores more efficiently. I've been a great taskmaster!

I check back periodically and will respond to comments, I just may not have as much time for new posts.


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