Kulantan wrote:World wide, black people are more likely to starve than white people.
A) Barack Obama is more likely to starve than a homeless white guy.
B) You're an idiot.
No, he's not an idiot. Your example implies you don't actually understand what he's getting at, but are prepared to judge him in your ignorance. That is much more idiotic than is applying a statistical likelihood to an individual situation.
EdgarJPublius wrote:it seems like you are implying that it is up to Young not to be bullied,
It's not up to him not to be bullied. But it is negligent to ignore potential relief from the bullying on the grounds that it seems to an outside observer to be more like avoiding the situation than solving it. And yes, in spite of the desires of some people here that teenagers be expected to be mature and understanding, sometimes it is better to modify one's behaviour in order to best achieve one's aims. If I were in the Celtic stand at an Old Firm derby I'd cover up my (non-existant) Rangers tattoos. I would not display them proudly and then when I wake up in hospital claim that it's wrong to hit people because of their football team, and so I can blame the stadium security for not keeping me safe from harm.
It's wrong for the school to suggest that maybe Young should just look less gay (thought it hasn't been shown that they were so insensitive, they could have raised the issue in communication with Young himself, and been politely rebuffed). But it's not wrong for anyone to raise the question of whether continuing at that school is the best course of action for him. It's not wrong to ask if the greater good of being safe at school isn't worth compromise in some areas of his life, much that we wish he didn't have to think that way. That compromise might be finding a more liberal school atmosphere.
EdgarJPublius wrote: I don't see a whole lot of room for misinterpretation there, and as I mentioned, outside of school, being outnumbered by aggressive assailants and unable to run would be justification for use of lethal force.
My point isn't that it could be misinterpreted as being a less threatening situation, it's that any of the kids involved will say they didn't really do or say anything, they were just part of a crowd, and didn't have it in for Young at all. It's very hard to single any of them out for severe punishment. There's a discord between the crime, which is just words, and the effect, which is fear and intimidation way out of proportion to what any one kid actually did. And like I said, that's an age old problem for schools. One kid says they just put a worm in someon's hair, the other kid is traumatised and has to go home crying. Do you punish for the very minor act of worm-putting, or for the major act of scaring someone out of school? The former is nothing, the latter is not what the perpetrator actually did.
EdgarJPublius wrote:However, that should not be taken as a minimization of the real harm and mental anguish such behavior can cause, which is worth preventing.
Not at all, you're right. But in legal terms, it's like homicide degrees. If your manslaughter kills two parents and orphans several children, you're going to get a longer sentence than someone who killed a belligerent drunk with no dependents. But it's not going to turn your manslaughter into murder so you can be imprisoned for life. Nothing about the victim's reaction to the crime turns the crime into something it wasn't. So in this case, the collective actions of all the bullies, big and small, is very severe. But it will be nigh impossible to find anyone to punish for that. All their actual crimes will be much less grievous. That's an unpleasant truth, but it's also the reason bullying is such a big and difficult problem.