Nobody wants to take my side when I say that humiliation should not make you legally culpable for somebody else’s suicide, but I hope we’re all starting to see the dangers of letting these anti-bullying laws (and the scared parents who support them) go unchecked and unopposed. As seen around the internet, a Texas high school football team is being investigated for “bullying” another team that it beat 91-0.
That’s right folks, one parent thinks that running up the score in high school football could be bullying. I bet that parent is also pissed off that little Johnny didn’t get a participation trophy for being on the losing side of a 91-0 score. There are any number of valuable lessons children can learn from a total defeat. These include: getting back on the horse after getting knocked down, the value of a lost cause, hell, even learning when to quit because you are completely outmatched and might hurt yourself is a useful lesson in cultures that value living to fight another day.
But no, this parent wants the kid to learn that even when you get the snot kicked out of you, fair-and square, you should still figure out if there’s anybody you can whine and complain to because the mean boys didn’t let you have a touchdown.
Since this is Texas, I’m forced to blame Ted Cruz: obviously his sore loser approach to national politics is starting to affect his constituents…
Here’s the story, from Fox News:
The coach of a Texas high school football team has been accused of bullying in a formal complaint after his team beat another school 91-0.
In the complaint, the dad of a player on the Western Hills High School football team claims Aledo High School football coach Tim Buchanan encouraged his players to bully their opponents by running up the score. Buchanan learned of the online complaint against him Saturday, the day after his team beat Western Hills in a 4A matchup….
In the report, which was released Tuesday, the unnamed dad lists both football teams as victims and the Aledo High School coaching staff as the offenders. The parent claims “everyone in the football stadium” was a witness to Buchanan and his staff’s “unsportsmanlike conduct.”
“We all witnessed bullying firsthand, it is not a pretty sight,” the complaint reads according to MyFoxDFW.com. “I did not know what to say on the ride home to explain the behavior of the Aledo coaches for not easing up when the game was in hand.”
What a terrible dad. What do you mean you “did not know what to say on the ride home”? Your son’s team just got beat down 91-0. How about, “I’m proud of your effort, despite the outcome.” How about, “Those guys are good. Did you finish your math homework?” How about, “If you want to, we can work on your 3-technique when we get home.” Jesus getting beat 39-0 by the Romans, how about ANYTHING OTHER THAN, “You are such a fragile snowflake that the world owes you an apology for exposing your weaknesses.”
Some commentators are pointing out that the “offending” coach, Aledo High School’s Tim Buchanan, did everything he could to take his foot off the gas given the circumstances. He took his starters out, ran the clock, what did you want him to do? Maybe he should have had his quarterback hand the football to the opposing team and then cheer them as they ran into the end-zone? ‘Cause I’m sure it would have made the Western Hills parents feel all gooey inside to see their sons treated like handicapped kids in a ball-running exhibition. Because that’s what this is really about, a dad handling his embarrassment at a stupid football game by looking for someone to blame. Kids, generally, would rather take a beating then be patronized in this manner.
To my mind the real problem here is with the overbroad Texas anti-bullying law. From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Football as a method of bullying is not addressed by the Texas Education code, which defines bullying as “engaging in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that occurs on school property, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity … and that has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student … or is sufficiently severe, persistent, and pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student.”
Are you kidding me with this? Under that definition, THE ENTIRE SPORT OF FOOTBALL is probably “bullying.” I have never, NEVER, been quite as afraid for my immediate physical safety on “school grounds” as when my lily-white prep school played the “urban” school in our league. I can hear the linebacker from Hempstead screaming now, “KIIII-LLL 34. Kill that Oreo-ni**er. Yeah, you heard me big boy. YOUR WHITE FRIENDS CAN’T HELP NOW!” [hike, ball, hit, fumble] “Ha HA, bitch. Yo white boy, come get this scared bitch up off the ground.”
Sorry. The Hempstead games are like my Weathertop. My point is, IT’S FOOTBALL. The whole point is to LEARN how to deal with fear and intimidation in a constructive manner. Being in an abusive educational environment isn’t bullying, it’s called “high school.”
These anti-bullying laws, collectively, are creating a nation of people who can’t take a beating. I’m not talking about actual assaults. And we already have laws that criminalize assaults and batteries. These anti-bullying statutes raise an unhappy state of mind into a cause of action. Somebody made me sad, somebody called me a name, somebody beat my ass 91-0, bullies should be punished. It’s freaking ridiculous.
And all of it is the the fault of the parents. All of it is the fault of the dads driving home from a football games who “don’t know what to say” to their own goddamn kids, and so they look to the system to take on the burden of parenting.
I have a son. If do a good job of emphasizing the right priorities, if he ever does play football, he’ll be on the team that loses 91-0. And Lord help me if driving home I say anything other than, “Do you have a concussion? No? Phew, I don’t want your mom to kill me.”
Parent accuses Texas high school football coach of bullying after 91-0 blowout game [Fox News]
Was Aledo’s 91-0 football win last week a case of bullying? [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]