Bullying, Homophobia, Prisons, Oh My!

I was shocked to see a video where a Mesa, AZ principal forced two boys to hold hands as a punishment for fighting (Per AV's comments below, the boys were given a choice of punishments which included this option). The video shows fellow students ridiculing two boys. Let's not focus on the crime (that is not the point). No matter what the reason this punishment is wrought with legal(?) and ethical issues. The situation points a bad, bad light on the principal and the school. Here are the messages the principal sent the students and the community.


"Bullying is OK in my school."

  • The principal created a structure where the students could / would / should get harassed. 
  • Leaders are there to protect students from such behaviors NOT reinforce or create safe havens for those behavior. This principal showed if one has a good reason, it is OK to bully other person.
  • "One's sexual orientation is cause for harassment."

  • The principal allowed / wanted students to be bullied based on ‘perceived’ sexual orientation.
  • Doing this sent the message that being gay (even though the students were not) is bad. The punishment reinforced that gay=wrong=bad and was DESERVING of ridicule.
  • Another message sent is that simply being seen as gay (as demonstrated through holding hands) is worse than causing physical injury to another human being.
  • "Schools are not safe places and should be treated like prisons."

  • Schools are often likened to prisons; these acts reinforce that vision.
  • By allowing a fist fight to be refocused into a sanctioned verbal attack, the principal created a prison-like (well, the Hollywood version of a prison) environment where punishments can be given by those on the inside.
  • School leaders have a challenging job. I get that. I honor that. Using one's power to advocate bullying, support homophobic slurs, and to create a prison mentality is simply opposite the call of duty.

    Note to the community: The place to put pressure is on the school board. It is their responsibility to create welcoming and comfortable schools. Let's hope they act responsibly. 

    Image credit: Flicker user Vectorportal

    3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

    What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

    Northwell Health
    Sponsored by Northwell Health
    • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
    • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
    • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
    Keep reading Show less

    Beyond Meat announces plan to sell ‘ground beef’ in stores. Shares skyrocket.

    Beyond Beef sizzles and marbleizes just like real beef, Beyond Meat says.

    Culture & Religion
    • Shares of Beyond Meat opened at around $200 on Tuesday morning, falling to nearly $170 by the afternoon.
    • Wall Street analysts remain wary of the stock, which has been on a massive hot streak since its IPO in May.
    • Beyond Meat faces competition from Impossible Foods and, as of this week, Tyson.
    Keep reading Show less

    Thumbs up? Map shows Europe’s hitchhiking landscape

    Average waiting time for hitchhikers in Ireland: Less than 30 minutes. In southern Spain: More than 90 minutes.

    Image: Abel Suyok
    Strange Maps
    • A popular means of transportation from the 1920s to the 1980s, hitchhiking has since fallen in disrepute.
    • However, as this map shows, thumbing a ride still occupies a thriving niche – if at great geographic variance.
    • In some countries and areas, you'll be off the street in no time. In other places, it's much harder to thumb your way from A to B.
    Keep reading Show less

    Can you guess which state has the most psychopaths?

    A recent study used data from the Big Five personality to estimate psychopathy prevalence in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.

    Surprising Science
    • The study estimated psychopathy prevalence by looking at the prevalence of certain traits in the Big Five model of personality.
    • The District of Columbia had the highest prevalence of psychopathy, compared to other areas.
    • The authors cautioned that their measurements were indirect, and that psychopathy in general is difficult to define precisely.
    Keep reading Show less