On Disrespect and Vitriol

Laws across the land require schools to have bullying policies, i.e. stop all instances of students verbally and physically harassing one another. How are we supposed to stop these practices among our students when the adults who are supposed to model appropriate behavior are unable to treat each other in acceptable ways? I could give multiple examples of highly exposed adults (from all kinds of professions and different sides of the political equation) who fail to give the respect all people deserve. We do not have to agree on all matters, but we need to respect one another despite our differences on issues. The role models, whether they be the a high profile politician, a TV talk show host or a parent in the stands, need to show respect to others whether or not they agree with another person on an issue or an official’s call on the field. One does not have to watch human behavior very long to understand that young people are always watching how adults react in all situations and very often model the behavior they see. The old saying that “they may not listen to watch you say, but they always see what you do,” holds very true. The tragedy in Arizona has brought to light the need to step back and re-think how we engage those with whom we disagree. Name calling and stereotyping based on one’s political beliefs needs to give way to open, respectful debate about issues and responsibility. How can we expect our students to treat one another with respect, despite their differences, if the adults and highly visible cultural and political leaders cannot do the same?

2 thoughts on “On Disrespect and Vitriol

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention On Disrespect and Vitriol | PCHSdirectorBLOG -- Topsy.com

  2. You are correct in that the media does a poor job of role modeling proper behavior for our students. Political analysts simply yell over each other to try to get in a point, and the only emotion that gets portrayed is anger.

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