|When high school students see news and entertainment figures, as well as college professors and even some high school teachers, join "the fun" of bullying someone like Sarah Palin, this sends the signal that this type of behavior is okay. The best, commonsensical way to understanding why high school students engage in interpersonal bullying is to focus on the larger, more prevelant and acceptable form of bullying which is instututionalized bullying. |
Political leaders routinely receive bad press, but one of the most gnawing things to watch is the type of drawn-out hounding and measured provocation against a national figure that is maniacal. There is "bad press" and then there is that socially accepted bullying that invites and encourages sandlot tyrants of every stripe to unite in deriding a specific national figure in an attempt to assassinate that individuals character.
In the past 45 years many national figures have been subjected to institutionalized bullying, but both Sarah Palin and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas have been subjected to a type of protracted, "triple-ply" bullying that not only creates a bandwagon mentality, but gives rise to a hysterical "hyper bonding" to which unstable aggressors are drawn.
Just as a firestorm feeds itself by drawing things into its vortex, the social whirlwind experienced by instutionalized bullying results in a feeding frenzy among groupies who passionately rally to the bandwagon in order to feel accepted.
High school students who see adults within our institutions "comfortably" and casually engaged in bullying national figures like Sarah Palin, readily translate this into acceptable behavior.
William Santy Chicopee
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