By C. Michael Forsyth
MOBILE, Ala. — Family values groups are hailing an innovative new program that teaches students how to bully sissies, tomboys and other social misfits more effectively.
Known as SNETP, or Social Norm Enforcement Training Program, the approach is “a much needed antidote” to the so-called tolerance classes all-too prevalent in American schools today, the experts say.
SNETP, which is quickly gaining widespread support nationwide, is the brainchild of respected values expert Dwayne Tuboll of Mobile.
“In many public schools today, our children are being taught that there’s ‘nothing wrong’ with being a homosexual or a lesbian, that it’s A-OK,” explains Tuboll, founder of the American Center for the Preservation of Judeo-Christian Values.
“Well, that’s not what the Bible says. We’re supposed to be helping kids conform to social norms, not teaching that ‘anything goes.’
“Back when you and I were kids, no one made a fuss about bullies. They certainly weren’t expelled en masse from schools under some ‘zero tolerance’ policy.
“I myself was a boy who liked arts and crafts and hated sports. But luckily there were bullies around to call me a ‘fairy’ until I got back in line. Yes, it hurt my feelings something awful at the time, but if it hadn’t been for those bullies I shudder to think about how I might have turned out.
“Unfortunately, in too many schools today, bullying is outlawed — just when we need old fashioned bullying most. Well, through SNETP, we’re bringing it back.”
Funded by private donations, the classes are held three days a week and instill invaluable bullying skills. Kids are taught to:
* Avoid offensive language. Budding bullies learn not to shout epithets like the F-word that might offend some adults, but instead use terms like ’pansy’ or ’butch.’
* Use violence only as a last resort. Kids are trained to use humiliation and teasing as weapons, rather than their fists.
* Dish out punishment with a smile. Drummed into bullies is the principle that God hates the sin, not the sinner. “If you steal an effeminate nerd’s glasses and hold it above your head, do it with a grin, not a scowl,” SNETP literature teaches children.
* Concentrate on light-hearted pranks. Wedgies, stuffing misfits in lockers, swirlies (stuffing heads in toilets) chocolate swirlies, pantsing boys and pushing them in the girls’ locker room are among the techniques introduced in the program.
* Use the buddy system. Bullying doesn’t work if the target is a child’s physical match. Working in pairs or small teams is the best way to keep the odds from becoming too even.
* Go high tech. Social norm enforcement isn’t reserved for the hallway, the playground and school bus anymore. Today tools like email and text-messaging are now available for teasing.
* Recognize submission. “If a girl is engaging in gender-inappropriate behavior like trying to play football on the playground, a bully team may have to bring her down and shove her face in the mud to teach her she’s not as tough as a boy,” explained values guru Tuboll, author of the upcoming book, Pushing Back: How You Can Join the Fight To Save Our Culture. “When she breaks down in tears after five or ten minutes and says ‘Uncle,’ you let her up and that’s the end of it.”
SNETP programs are not yet available during school hours in public schools, which generally have anti-bullying policies. But they are gaining popularity in private institutions throughout the South, which are largely Christian schools. And, impressed with their success, many advocates are pushing to introduce them in public schools as well, nationwide, within the next three to five years.
“Right now, our training sessions have to be conducted in a kind of clandestine manner, in parents’ basements and garages, in church social halls and in fraternity lodges,” says a SNET coordinator in Columbia, South Carolina. “Hopefully, in the next couple of years, that will change.”
The important program is not without its critics. Gay rights organizations have been quick to attack SNETP.
“If these students were being taught to bully all their peers, it would be one thing. But SNETP clearly singles out gay and pre-gay kids,” said a spokesman for the Coalition of Gay and Lesbian Americans.
Tuboll denies this, pointing out that science geeks who try to shove Darwinism down the throats of their peers, children of leftists who preach socialism, and other misfits are also targeted for social norm enforcement.
Some educators fear that bullying can damage a victim’s self esteem and even lead to physical harm.
To that, Tuboll replies, “A child who experiences some teasing at school or maybe comes homes with a black eye or two, may shed a few tears. But if that saves them from a lifetime as a homosexual — or burning for all eternity in the fires of damnation — I’d say it’s well worth it.”
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth
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