That’s a headline guaranteed to get your attention, isn’t it? ‘Thousands of bullied kids take weapons to school’ Now too many people these days will only scan the headlines and maybe the first paragraph and take whatever information they skimmed as gospel. If that’s all you’ll read you’ll believe that hundreds of thousands of kids are taking guns into schools every day getting ready to shoot the school up. This is how what I call the bullying myth gets spread.
Now that all the people who only read the first paragraph are pissed off please allow me to explain. What I call the bullying myth is the myth that bullying causes school shootings. It doesn’t. This started with Columbine when it was believed early on that the cowardly shooters were bullied. They weren’t. It turns out that they were the bullies themselves. Do I believe bullying exists in schools? Of course, I do considering that I’ve received several concussions from my bullies at school but as I am apt to say I got over it.
So in the light of the recent school shooting plot that was foiled in Minnesota, Bill Briggs of NBC News decides to bring us this article with the clever attention-getting headline. In the article, it says that the CDC has determined that at least 200,000 bullied kids have brought weapons to school. Those weapons include firearms, knives, and clubs. It says that the victims of bullying experience four different kinds of bullying…
— being verbally tormented, sustaining a physical assault, suffering personal property theft or damage, and cutting school due to safety concerns —
The study or at least the way it’s being reported is very vague and leaves a lot of open questions. What kind of weapons are we really talking about here, pellet guns, penknives, etc? And what do the kids they ask really consider bullying? Do they consider physical assault having their books knocked out of their hands? However, buried deep in the article the study even says it’s hard to determine that if any of the kids that claim to be bullied aren’t bullies themselves.
They also might as well throw in some outright misinformation in there as well…
Alex Hribal, 16, is accused of a stabbing spree at a school near Pittsburgh that left 20 students and a security guard wounded. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Hribal had received an online taunt the night before.
What they neglect to mention is that not only did the police say that they have no indication that was directed at Hribal but that Hribal made threatening phone calls the night before his attack.
All that articles like this actually do a disservice to bullied kids. Instead of trying to correct the bullying problem schools are going to be more worried about finding the next shooter instead and will look to the bullied kids for their potential killers. The problem is that the attackers are usually entitled brats who feel the world owes them everything and use violence to deal with their own inadequacies.
News outlets don’t care about reporting facts anymore. It’s all about ratings and pageviews. The general public are idiots and will believe the first thing they hear. Combine those two and it’s a recipe for ignorant disaster.