Which leads us to an important point. Cases of cyberbullying where the victim commits suicide are atypical of bullying cases in general. In cases like those of Rahteah Parsons and Amanda Todd, the cyberbullying involved extreme persecution that broke several already existing laws. How can suicides, committed in response to behaviour that was already illegal, be evidence of the need for provincial and possibly federal legislature, against a more general kind of bad behaviour that does not typically result in suicide? Person B: You don’t support Bill 18? You are against school safety? What kind of a monster are you? In this Act, “bullying” is behaviour that
No, the vast majority do not.
The flaw in this kind of reasoning can be demonstrated by a simple hypothetical example.
Suppose the government were to pass a law which placed armed guards and watchdogs in every hall and classroom of every school in the country, required all students to submit to full body searches before entering the building, ordered school authorities to confiscate all personal property that was not immediately needed in the classroom, and basically turned all public schools into day-prisons.
Would this make the schools safer and help prevent future school shootings?
Would this increase in school safety be worth the price of forcing youth to undergo a prisoner’s existence for the duration of their education?
Of course not. A person would have to be insane to think so.
Means need to be evaluated, not independent of, but definitely distinct from, their ends. Bill 18 has a worthy goal in school safety, but that goal does not mean the bill itself deserves our support.
The goal of inclusivity is different from the goal of safety in that inclusivity is not a good in the same way safety is. We do not need to ask the question “safe from what” to know that safety is something to be desired, in and of itself, albeit not necessarily something to be sought whatever the cost. With inclusivity, however, the question “inclusive of what” must always be asked. Inclusivity can be good or bad, depending upon what is being included.
The kind of inclusivity that Bill 18 is designed to promote is not a good. It is in fact an evil. It is the very malignant cancer that is eating away at the soul of all Western societies. It is the inclusivity that is currently the primary ideal of left-liberalism. The progressive ideal of inclusivity is a combination of the older progressive ideals of equality and universality. Equality and universality have been ideals of both liberalism and the revolutionary left throughout the Modern Age but until recently they were tempered and modified by other ideals and by the constraints of reality. Then, after World War II, the left began its crusade against “racism”. Racism, a word not much older than the Second World War itself, is usually understood to mean prejudice against other people on the basis of their skin colour or ethnic ancestry. It has been used to describe a wide range of behaviour from telling ethnic jokes and holding ethnic stereotypes to refusing to associate or do business with people of certain races to actively persecuting people of other races. The left declared racism to be the besetting sin of the Western world. Progressives reinterpreted the history of Western civilization as one long series of racist assaults on other people that led inevitably to and culminated in the Nazi Holocaust. They then set out to eliminate Western racism, establishing a no-tolerance policy for white racism in even its mildest forms, while ignoring racism committed by other peoples. They made it their goal to radically transform all Western societies, from traditional organic societies into which outsiders may be admitted but which maintain a core biological and cultural continuity from one generation to the next into universal societies, with no cultural identity apart from a commitment to universalism and egalitarianism, full membership in which is open to anyone, anywhere on the planet, who wants it. The progressive ideal of inclusivity began as this new model of society.
(i) gender equity,
(iii) the awareness and understanding of, and respect for, people who are disabled by barriers, or
(iv) the awareness and understanding of, and respect for, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities; and
b) use the name “gay-straight alliance” or any other name that is consistent with the promotion of a positive school environment that is inclusive and accepting of all pupils.
In theory, antiracism means opposition to unfounded prejudice against and/or mistreatment of people of other races and to the ideological exaltation of one’s own race as superior to others or destined to rule others. In reality antiracism is itself an irrational prejudice against white people. Antiracists typically believe that racism is most prevalent or even only found among people of white European ancestry, when in reality, it is the extreme tolerance of other people to the detriment of one’s own that we call “liberalism” that is the moral disease of the Caucasians. Antiracists treat the slightest verbal expression of racial prejudice on the part of a white person as the moral equivalent of leprosy, requiring the person who uttered it to be exiled and ostracized from the community while dismissing the idea that acts of criminal violence against white people by people of other races could possibly be motivated by racial prejudice.
We have seen that bullying, the evil which Bill 18 is designed to combat, has until very recently been left to the authority of parents and teachers and that it is questionable that it requires a legislative response today. We have seen that one of the goods Bill 18 is designed to promote, safety, while unquestionably a good, is not a good to be attained by any and all means possible and that the kind of inclusivity the bill is intended to promote is not a good at all but an evil. Since the bill has therefore failed the test of ends, the test of means is unnecessary, but we will submit the bill to that test nonetheless.
The main thing Bill 18 sets out to do is to amend the Public Schools Act to include a definition of bullying. Section 3 of the bill includes three subsections that would be inserted into the Public Schools Act as Section 1.2. The first of these gives a definition of bullying, the second specifies characteristics and forms of bullying, and the third states that the person who “intentionally assists of encourages the bullying behaviour in any way” is to be considered as participating in the bullying alongside the person who is directly carrying it out. The definition of bullying reads as follows:
(a) is intended to cause, or should be known to cause, fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other forms of harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, reputation or property; or
(b) is intended to create, or should be known to create, a negative school environment for another person.
Definitions can err by being either too broad or too narrow. A definition that is too broad includes too much. An example would be to define water as “a liquid”. This would include all liquids in the definition of water, regardless of their chemical substance. A definition that is too narrow excludes things which should not be excluded. If one were to define a liquid as “water”, for example, this would exclude all liquids that are not water.
This is a definition that is way too broad. The presence of virtually anything that a person objects to could be said to create “a negative school environment” for that person. The action that creates “a negative school environment” doesn’t even have to be intentional, it just has to be something that “should be known to” have that effect, which is an extremely vague way of putting it. Who exactly is supposed to decide what “should be known to” have these effects and what should not? Furthermore, everything that hurts someone’s feelings is included in this definition, with the same qualifications as pertain to the creating of a negative school environment.
The effects of defining bullying so broadly can only be bad. If this definition is included in the Public Schools Act, and school boards are required to incorporate it into their policies on bullying, it will mean that school officials will be required to administer and police social interaction, especially social interaction, between their students. It will mean that every thought students express, every word they say, will be subject to review to determine that no one else’s feelings are hurt by it. The difference between this and the hypothetical armed guard/watchdog policy discussed earlier when considering the objective of school safety is only one of degree, not of kind.
Bill 18 is clearly not the solution to the problem of bullying.
Is there a solution to the problem?
If there is, I doubt it would look anything like Bill 18. While legislation like Bill 18 is peddled by the government and its media supporters as giving tools to school boards, principals, and teachers to fight bullying, all it really accomplishes is to interject further provincial government control into the educational system. Earlier, in considering the question of whether bullying is now a problem that requires legislation, we deferred the question of whether the authorities that dealt with bullying in the past, parents and teachers, were no longer competent to do so. That is a question more appropriately considered here, in the contemplation of alternative solutions to bullying, because of an interesting paradox. A case can indeed be made that parents and teachers, who were capable of dealing with the problem of bullying in the past, are no longer capable of doing so. The authority of parents and of teachers has undeniably been greatly eroded in recent decades, which would certainly undermine their ability to deal with bullying. Yet, although this fulfils one of the conditions which could potentially make anti-bullying legislation necessary now when it was not in the past, ironically such legislation itself would contribute to the very situation which has been eroding parental authority.
Over the last century or so a transformation has taken place in public education. Originally a very decentralized affair, in which neighborhood schools and their boards were directly answerable to the parents of the students, and government control was minimal, it has evolved through a number of means, such as the infusion of funds from the government and previous progressive campaigns to establish uniform educational standards and the like, into a highly centralized system that is basically the educational branch of the government. This changed the role and authority of teachers. Their authority had originally been derived from that of the parents to whom they were deputies of a sort and who generally stood behind them and upheld their authority. As government gained control of education the basis of the teacher’s authority shifted and the teacher became more the agent of government than the deputy of the parent. Parents and teachers became more competing, rather than cooperating, authorities, especially since the new government-controlled educational system was increasingly used by progressive forces to subvert traditional authorities and institutions. This weakened the authority of parents and teachers alike.
If this decay in the authority of parents and teachers has contributed to the present problem of bullying, which it has, and Bill 18 would add to one of the biggest reasons for that decay in authority, which it would, then perhaps the solution to the bullying problem lies in the exact opposite direction, a relinquishing of government control of education, devolution of educational authority back to local school boards, the re-establishment of parental control over their children’s education, including their right to send their children to schools where they won’t have politically correct nonsense shoved down their throats.
It would at least be a start.
Which leads us to an important point. Cases of cyberbullying where the victim commits suicide are atypical of bullying cases in general. In cases like those of Rahteah Parsons and Amanda Todd, the cyberbullying involved extreme persecution that broke several already existing laws. How can suicides, committed in response to behaviour that was already illegal, be evidence of the need for provincial and possibly federal legislature, against a more general kind of bad behaviour that does not typically result in suicide?
Person B: You don’t support Bill 18? You are against school safety? What kind of a monster are you?
In this Act, “bullying” is behaviour that