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The Tennessee House of Representatives just finished a marathon 6.5 hour session in which a whole host of bad bills were debated and passed, along with a small handful of good pieces of legislation, such as Rep. Curtiss’ bill to clean up language related to a law passed last year in relation to bullying and harassment.
During the debate, Rep. Jeremy Faison spoke out against the bill, displaying a “boys will be boys” mentality towards bullying, and ignoring the public outcry from parents who have lost children to suicide after years of vicious and intolerable harassment. He then went one step further and said that “I will submit to you today, that they didn’t commit suicide because of somebody bullying them, they committed suicide because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self esteem came from.”
Faison is apparently blaming the parents of suicide victims for their inability to “instill the proper principles” in their children. What a disgrace. Now, of course a tall and burly Faison doesn’t see any problems with bullying, as he admitted, he was perfectly capable of defending himself or dishing out punishment as he saw fit. But many kids don’t have that ability. That is why laws like these need to be passed.
It is unfortunate that some in the Republican Party have become the protectors of bullies. Of course, it is not terribly surprising, because as a legislative group they are nothing but bullies, disparaging and demeaning those without power in this country in order to build themselves up. So it is no wonder that they would see no big deal with the problems associated with childhood bullying in this country, and become the defenders of harassment.
The Nashville Scene: Ironic, isn’t it, that just after claiming that he’s “beaten up a few bullies” in his day because “they needed it,” Faison would say something so spectacularly insensitive and ugly that it drew an audible response from people in the chamber.
Update: The Scene has a statement of apology from Rep. Faison, “After reviewing my comments on the House Floor today, I regret what was a poor choice of words. My true intent was to protect children from becoming criminals.”
So, in other words, he was so worried about protecting bullies from the possibility of criminal charges, that he mistakenly blamed parents for their children’s suicide.
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