I like “nice.” I respect people who help people. I don’t like to see people or animals mistreated or abused. I haven’t raised any objections whenever I’ve seen a message telling kids to stop bullying others.
It’s a good message. People should be sensitive to the feelings and circumstances of others.
However, it’s a sign of a society gone too far over the edge that a parent filed a formal “bullying” complaint against a high school in Texas because the school’s football team beat another team by a blowout score of 91-0. Fox News reported that Aledo High blew out Fort Worth Western Hills, as it blew out many another team in a league where it was strong and the other teams weak.
While there are reasonable proposals to resolve such situations, it is a misguided and harmful obsession to call such occurrences bullying. That a parent filed a formal complaint which must, by regulation, be addressed and responded to is to replace a perceived “bullying” with an actual and very real bullying.
You don’t encourage a kid to work hard and be a winner when, ultimately you must, in accordance with the whims of the whiner class, tell the kid to be a loser. Kids today are becoming confused with the mix of messages they’re getting from every direction.
“Be a man and take your licks” is adulterated with the message that we must weaken the strong to be fair to the weak. The same reasoning applies to mixed or all-female teams, but the insidious effects are most often seen where boy children are concerned.
“Boys will be boys” has no meaning any more, even when it has a strong basis in physiology, biology, and adolescent development. You’d have to be blind not to notice the behavioral and developmental differences between adolescent boys and girls, especially in a school setting where pressures and expectations of boy children often exceed the capacity of their development to meet them.
That’s another way of saying that society these days often seems obsessed with taking the boy out of the boy. Meanwhile, the entire purpose of school sports is to recognize and develop natural physical and emotional traits with the intention of turning out life “winners” rather than life “losers.”
Both genders must be taught self-discipline but a male football team winning big is not an indication of poor individual sportsmanship or lack of self-control. Nor should the Texas high school coach be put in the position of telling his team to take two steps back for every one step forward.
The Fox News article addresses several ways in which the “problem” may be remedied without handcuffing the winning team. Besides, Aledo coach Tim Buchanan seems to have exhausted his entire repertoire of good sportsmanship in putting in 2nd stringers, and then 3rd stringers as the lopsided score mounted up. Besides, there’s something to be said for losing, and even for losing big.
There are sports like wresting, martial arts, boxing, and others where the results are very often lopsided. A wrestler gets pinned, a boxer or MMA fighter gets knocked out in the first minute of the first round. Should the contestants be warned that the objective is not to win, but to be sure that his opponent, his opponent’s entourage, and spectators leave the arena feeling that they have sustained a personal enrichment seminar?
No, there’s much to be said for losing, and sensible Texas high school regulators would do well to slam-dunk the complaint to the cheers of everyone. If there is humiliation on the part of the losing team, then there is greatness in rising from there to victory and better accounting of themselves the next time.