Schools and parents who teach children to become chum for bullies

One of my pet peeves is bullying.  I’m not talking about bullying amongst students, although I certainly don’t like that.  I’m talking about the bullying from school districts and Progressive parents who work overtime to ensure that children are brainwashed into fearing self-defense so much that they would rather be led as lambs to the slaughter than stand up for themselves.  The schools are dividing students into two classes:  the bullies and their institutionally created helpless victims.

I’m fulminating about this because of a story I found in the San Jose Mercury News.  There really was bullying going on — students attacked a 15-year-old classmate — but what makes me crazy is the fact that the mother ordered her child to take a beating, while the child celebrated the fact that it was better to get beaten up than to have problems with the school administrators (emphasis mine):

Ann Benediktsson, a 15-year-old Dougherty Valley High School student, was walking home on Thursday when a classmate approached her to say she would soon face a peer in a fight.

Ann’s mother, on the phone with her at the time, told her two things: Run home, and if a fight happens, do not fight back.

“It was the hardest thing I have ever had to say in my life,” Kate Benediktsson recalled. “I felt useless.”


Minutes after speaking to her mother, Ann ran into her peer in a park along with over two dozen other students, waiting to witness the event. While Ann attempted to keep her attacker from pulling her hair and socking her jaw, the bystanders pulled out their phones and filmed. In a video Benediktsson obtained of the fight that she later posted to YouTube, students can be heard egging on the fight, sometimes cheering when Ann’s attacker made contact.

Ann never threw a punch.

“I am proud of how I handled it,” Ann said. “I’m glad I didn’t hit back because the principal and teachers would have just said it was a spat between teenagers.”

I cannot believe that a mother told her child to be a punching bag for bullies.  Moreover, I cannot believe that a mother told this to her girl child. One of the primary lessons women learn in every self-defense class is this:  if you fight back against someone who is assaulting you, you are likely to suffer physical injuries, but you are also much less likely than the passive victim to be raped or killed.

In the African savannah, when lions stalk wildebeests or gazelles, the lions do not like to have to work hard for their meal.  They want the lame and the weak stragglers, not the vigorous animals that put up a fight.  Human predators are the same.  A women who walks with an upright, energetic step, and who is aware of her surroundings, simply isn’t as appealing as the gal shuffling along with her head down.  And if that shuffling gal, when attacked, suddenly finds some gumption and fights back, the predator will often back off in any event and look for an easier victim.  (For more on the psychology of self-defense, I highly recommend Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence.)

The mother in the above news story essentially taught her daughter to be shark chum.  Moreover, while the mother ordered the “principled” stand, it was her daughter who ended up taking a beating.  The daughter was certainly an obedient child, but I do rather wonder if the mother would have stood there that passively if it was she, rather than her child, being attacked.

I wasn’t the only one thinking it’s a bad article that celebrates the next generation of victims.  Although the article garnered only eight comments, one of them was right on the mark as far as I was concerned:


sorry but I rather take a suspension and stand my ground than to be hit upon, that is the problem with parents these days oh don’t fight back, I taught my son how to defend himself and in doing so he is respected because those who tried to fight him lost. I hate bullies. Everyone should know how to defend themselves.

Ever since my kids hit school, I’ve given them a single message:  Never be the one to start a fight but, if someone else starts the fight, you make sure to end it.  And don’t worry about the school’s subsequent response.  If you had to use physical force to defend yourself, and if the school attempts to punish you, I will take the school on if I have to go all the way to the Supreme Court.  I’ve never had to make good on this promise, since no one has ever physically attacked my kids.  I suspect that, with my instruction ringing in their ears, they don’t walk around like shark bait.

By the way, I always back up this instruction to my kids by telling them that, had Jews not been conditioned by centuries of oppression to avoid arms, put their heads down, and try to appease authorities, its likely that the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened.  Please understand that I’m not blaming those victims.  First, no one could ever have imagined what the Germans intended to do.  Second, the Jews’ behavior wasn’t a conscious decision.  It was the result of a thousand years of conditioning.  Israel, thankfully, while not blaming the victims, nevertheless learned the lesson.  Like my children, Israel won’t start a fight, but she will finish it.

Incidentally, reading this news report about a school district’s institutional hostility to self-defense effectively bullying a child into victimhood, a behavior the child’s mother reinforced, reminded me of a post that America’s Sgt. Major wrote a couple of years ago at Castra Praetoria, explaining how to deal with bullies.  I highly recommend it, because it’s both enjoyable and instructive.

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  • bkivey

    I’m not exactly speechless, because I have much to say on the subject, but the parental mindset is beyond me.
    Being of a bookish turn, I took a fair amount of physical and mental abuse. My father counseled self-defense, but I couldn’t act until I hit puberty. When my body caught up to my desires, shit got real. I never lost a fight in junior high, and no one bothered me after that. In fact, previous tormenters came to my aid after I’d proven I could beat them. The five years between fourth and ninth grades taught me a lot about how people work. 

  • Ymarsakar

    Wait a moment.
    “was walking home on Thursday when a classmate approached her to say she would soon face a peer in a fight.”
    Wouldn’t that mean Ann’s mother gave the advice to the Other Girl, not the daughter? And it was the Other Girl that took the beating based upon her friend’s mom’s advice?
    As for bullies, these days I doubt they can do significant damage to me. Given that whenever they try to touch me, defenses will actually redirect their force unto themselves. So they can actually break their own arms by trying to hit me. I took a little test of the local neighborhood’s teenage population, and both male and female combat knowledge levels are… very very low. What’s pathetic about it is that the males use their superior strength to dominate and coerce the females in various little in group arguments over dominance.
    It’s always the weak that get targeted first. In counter insurgency, protecting the primaries often doesn’t do anything because the secondaries get hit. And if you use resources on the secondaries, the tertiaries get hit instead. Human independence cannot work without individual strength. Those without individual strength, are essentially herds of domesticated sheep. Those are worthless. If we want domesticated sheep, we would get sheep. They would eat less.

  • Ymarsakar

    One time a party or family gathering was going on at the home in front of my street, arm’s throw away. The parents were moderating and overseering some kiddies of various ages. One time a ball flies back and lands on my side of the divide, and I see this 6 year old kid or something. May be 4 years even, walking or toddling. He seems upset. There’s a little girl slightly smaller or younger. I detected that the boy was mad about something or other, losing the ball or whatever. So he walks up to her, picks her up, and throws her down on concrete. Now she’s crying on the driveway, and a male parent comes, not having seen what happened.
    I was so surprised at the incident that I went into bystander mode. Which I generally do for observational purposes. I’d like to think that if that was my relative or kid, I’d kick him 5 car lengths down the road myself. It was just an unmanly, pathetic, weak excuse for venting one’s frustration and anger, yet so surprising I didn’t know what to feel about it until it was over. My options are limited since the other family speaks mostly Spanish or something, and it’s their kid or relative, not mine. Yet I can’t help but feel that the society around me is breaking down into weaklings and retarded wannabe predators. I’ve seen some guy in a car try to pick up a girl walking by my driveway. He drove his car diagonally in front of her, cutting her off by sandwiching her between my mailbox. At least that time I was ready and motivated enough to get downstairs, but by that time they had walked several feet away and it didn’t look like she was in danger. Again, social limitations hold me back.
    That’s why I think society is crap and that it can and will go to hell. Breaking the limitations and restrictions of Authority and acting on my own Judgment is something I would feel much better about, ethically speaking. Society is literally made up out of these “people”, their minders, and their victims. Yet Social Authority thinks it can make me Obey and tell me what is Justice and what is Proper. I doubt I will recognize the Authority of society in the future. Individuals I may recognize, but groups are retarded.
    “My son is really, really good at martial arts. He’s also totally easy to bully. He wants to be a good boy at school, and he’s totally internalized the school’s message that he’ll be harshly dealt with, whether he acts in self-defense or not. 
    I keep telling him that he will not get in trouble with me, even if he’s suspended, if he acts to protect himself or another person. And he will always get in trouble with me if he’s a bully. ”
    Bujitsu or Budo, the way of the warrior, is about developing the mental strength necessary to risk your life for a greater cause or to usher in the determination and resolve to kill enemies. Philosophy for a warrior was often more important than being good at “techniques” or whatever it is “modern martial arts” schools think they are teaching. Without a philosophy, ethic, or beauty to fight for, a “martial artist” is neither martial nor a creator of anything. Those who tell themselves that a Good Life is obeying Authority, will never achieve or find the things that the Ancient masters discovered. Sure, so long as your King or Authority is a good one, and you freely chose to obey them, you may produce good, for a time. Yet for most humans they just go along with the flow, do as they are told, kill and hurt whatever Authority tells them is the “enemy”. They make no distinction between what is right as judged by the soul vs what is right as judged by corrupt leaders.
    True strength for a soldier is different from those who act alone or for their own purposes. But at least a soldier or a warrior has their own resolve and their own mission. Most humans seem to prefer being followers. When told to jump, they would rather jump off the cliff than question whether this is truly right or not. Your son either needs to find something to rely on or be given something to work with. Those who have nothing worth fighting for, nothing worth killing or dying for, aren’t very far on the path. No matter how many of their “martial art” teachers say otherwise.

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  • Libby

    Not only is the mother’s “don’t fight back” advice disturbing, but why didn’t she tell her to do something evasive like flag down a nearby adult or go to a populated place (store, library) and await pick-up? Reminds me of the behavior of the Eloi in “The Time Machine.”
    Here’s what happens to gals like this when they grow up: they become recent DC “Knock-Out Game” victim Phoebe Connolly, who said on Greta’s show last night she has no hard feelings for her attackers and sees it as a better reason to support our youths with activities, blah, blah, blah.

  • Ymarsakar

    Recorded videos? Like what?
    Like this.

    This is like entertainment for the “generations”. Girls were used to be taught to be sunny, nice, wear dresses, how to sit down without wind blowing them up, and various things like this. While I am not a “traditionalist” (After all, I am relatively confident that I can teach motivated women and that they should be taught, lethal force), I cannot quite support such “brawls” that provide no social or individual benefit. They learn nothing. They merely ape the Equality of the sexes and use the methods that males use to solve problems. But these aren’t teenage males, now are they.
    What is the purpose of all this? To make advertisement money for Hollywood moguls and Democrat elites? To provide a way for the Education Class to exert their Authority on young girls and boys?
    I can’t even pick up any “tips” from these fights, because they are ridiculously weak. A fighter learns nothing from fighting or watching weaklings.

  • Charles Martel

    Libby, the “better reason to support our youths with activities” cracks me up. Is not rape an interesting activity for the brutes who engage in it? I hope she isn’t suggesting that in making a choice between plundering some nooky and playing a spiffy game of video caroms that some low-life is going to choose the latter.

  • Libby

    Exactly, Charles. Phoebe fails to see that she and her attackers have different ideas on what is considered a “sport.”

  • Ymarsakar

    I noticed from watching the link on Greta that the police don’t treat it as lethal force. Neither involuntary manslaughter, attempted murder, or anything of that sort. Even the guy who drew his glock 22, in the comments, since he was in yellow alert on the youths trying to slam him, was charged with drawing a gun and the youths charged with nothing. They don’t consider a punch lethal force. They don’t consider someone going unconscious and cratering on a sidewalk lethal force or grievous bodily injury.
    For people that like to use guns or knives in defense, that might be legally troublesome. But for those of who specialize in unarmed lethal force, this evens out the playing field a lot, legally speaking. Even if a person can guarantee victory in battle, they cannot guarantee victory against the Lawyers. If their single (KO game) punch cannot be ruled as intentional lethal force, then the limits on a can be loosened in return “punch”, activating its full force. Such that if someone dies from it, it will have a lot more “legal excuses” than if a human had used a gun or knife against a KO Gamer.
    The RoE restrictions are… more manageable that way, which provides more tactical flexibility.
    I’m reading Rory Miller’s book Meditations on Violence. I had heard it was good and I certainly believed it and recommended others check it out if they can. Amazon’s kindle system is convenient and since I’ve already read On Killing, might as well move to the next on the list. So far, it is stuff I already know by heart or agree with.
    A lot of people, including Phoebe Connolly seem to think they can’t be killed with one punch… I wonder what people will say, think, and react with in the future.

  • Earl

    “Never be the one to start a fight but, if someone else starts the fight, you make sure to end it.”
    Exactly what I told my own kids, back in the day.  Don’t think either of them ever got in a fight, either.

  • Charles Martel

    My oldest brother, who won his fair share of fights in school, once told me, “Don’t fight fair, fight to win. No being polite, no warnings or talk—bite, kick, blindside. Make them fear you for being batshit crazy.”

  • Ymarsakar

    If a person is engaging in a genetically programmed ritual of social dominance, and you attack them via an immediate escalation, surprise also locks their OODA to the point where the OO just bounces and the Decide/Act part never engages.
    Thus you can freely get in as many hits or damage as you want.

  • Simplemind

    some animals will freeze in front of a a snake that doesnt have the ability to chase it down.
    its their survival strategy. Hide. Duck an Cover. whatever you want to call it. 
    Its that way for some people also.  They will always default to passive defense, unless its trained out of them. Some people will immediately go aggro. Its just in you, one way or another.  Can’t say gender is that determinative on the issue either, assuming no prior training.   Training, in self defense including weapons, should be like potty training. 
    The libs want to make everyone rabbits. They want to train the fight out of the dogs.
    Everyone should get self defense training early, including weapons, stick fighting, knife defense, boxing, wrestling and eventually shooting. It should be taught in gym class.
    I am not kidding. (PS you want to make boys WANT to go to school? Start teaching them Kali or silat in gym class.) They will come to school just for that and stay in school.  Fighting outside of supervised sparring – permanently barred from class. Which means they will not progress in skill while their peers do, which means they will no fight outside of class. They will, however, want to spar. Problem with self defense:solved.
    PPS – yes I said boys, but this will work for a fair percentage of girls also. 

  • Bookworm

    Simplemind:  That suggestion about martial arts lessons at schools is the way things should be.  Instead, our schools are bound and determined to feminize our boys.  Manly boys are inherently evil, you know, at least if you’re a properly sensitized, emasculated Leftist male or any Leftist female.

  • Ymarsakar

    “(PS you want to make boys WANT to go to school? Start teaching them Kali or silat in gym class.)”
    Judo, Karate, Kendo, and various competitive ball sports are student run in Japanese private high schools. Many people speak of private education and vouchers solving issues in America. Instead of being a fantasy we just think about, the Japanese have been raising their children that way for quite awhile. Home schooling isn’t required or desired over there. School choice is preferred instead.
    As the Leftist Academia ensure that all the students in school are destroyed in terms of social worth and status, people become feral and start violently competing for “status” (resources) and “respect” (safety from fear). The Japanese resolved this issue by taking all the violent rages and dissatisfaction and funneling it into more productive pursuits. Instead of the faculty dealing with threats to the school life (i.e. seishun or youthful vitality), the student council are elected and empowered to enforce school rules, which can sometimes even be changed by student democracy. Those who want status and “respect”, can become basketball, soccer, stars and strive for the “nationals”, winning respect amongst their team and peers, in fact the entire country.
    In American public education, the “system” of administrators who don’t actually teach, just get a paycheck, determine what the rules are. And if you don’t like it… well, not much you can do about it. Their union powers make them immune, for the most part, from individual parents. Lawsuits just suck up taxpayer and federal money, it doesn’t dink the pockets of the union bosses or teachers. Lawyers are the All time winners there. And Lawyers are Leftists just like teacher unions are. It doesn’t matter in an alliance if member A wins vs member B winning. If parents don’t like a school choice, the federal enforcers will still take their tax money and give it to Leftist unions. The only ones allowed to send their children to private schools of the parents choice are Democrat aristos, like Obama and the Clintons. Everyone else that is poor and powerless can either home school or go to public.
    The Japanese society is breaking down from traditions, but compared to American culture, we would still think them ultra polite and under system authority. Their society also kills most of the drug and crime based violence in the crib, so less of an issue 20 years later.
    It takes a significant act of will to start doing things that humans have no experience with, thinking it’ll lead to survival. But once that single step of action is taken, freezing can be broken, no matter what kind it is. I saw this several times in the first person perspective. Rory Miller says many people can’t force themselves to act during dangerous situations, instead hold internal debates and OO bounces.
    Book, there’s several passages in this book that would apply to your son. While you are cautious of the school and media corrupting him, you should be just as wary of martial arts schools, with their authoritarian based system of control. Even if they teach quality methods and techniques, the system of obeying authority is not easily broken. Obeying authority makes for good citizens, just look at Japan during earthquakes. But when the system is corrupt and evil… those who obey it are inevitably destroyed sooner or later. The only way to negate Leftist propaganda entirely is to think and use a different language than they can access. Even recent “scientific studies” show that those who use a second language they don’t think in, are able to think more rationally and less emotionally.
    “The assault mindset in a sporting competition is completely unacceptable. From the assault mindset, if you are scheduled to fight a world champion heavyweight boxer on Thursday, you shoot him on Tuesday. It is not just beyond cheating-cheating has no meaning in the mind of a predator-there are only odds, tactics, and meat. This comparison is doubly true for the duel.
    Some elite elements in combat develop the predator mindset. It requires trust and respect to get an entire team into that mindset. Far more teams fake it by hard training under a good leader than actually have the mindset. True predators are unpredictable and that makes the chain of command uncomfortable. They will get the job done but will ignore any parameter or rule of engagement set by command that does not seem important to them. Because of this, they are idolized in times of serious conflict and marginalized, ignored, or pushed aside when combat is rare. Fitness training is about your self. There is no prey and therefore nothing for the predator mindset to focus on. A predator without prey is a fat, lazy cat that likes to play and eat and sleep.
    This matrix could be extended almost infinitely in either dimension. Fight choreography for films, stuntwork, performing arts, and restraining mental patients without injuring them could all be added across the top. Timing differences, best class of techniques, ideal opponent, and reliance on technology could all have a space. 
    Despite the wide variety of skills and complete incompatibility of the mindsets or strategy, martial artists are often convinced that they are training for all of these things simultaneously. In strictly regimented classes where things are done by rote and without question, you can see the military roots of a soldier’s art…but that obedient mindset can set students up for failure if they are victimized by an authority figure or overwhelmed by an attacker who uses verbal commands with his assault. Some instructors extol the virtues of
    the predatory mindset, the “eyes of a tiger,” without teaching how to get there from a moment of surprise, pain, and fear (for self-defense) or dealing with the logical consequences for sport-a true predator cheats in profound ways. Not the little ways, like illegal nerve gouges in the grapple, but big ways like getting a bunch of friends and weapons and finishing the fight in the locker room before the match starts. This extends well beyond martial arts and into the world of conflict and the perception of conflict in general. In the world of movies, boots and fists and guns are used interchangeably. In real life, the skills, needs, and legal justification for striking and shooting are very different. Police solutions to military problems are doomed to fail just as military solutions to police problems will never be allowed in a free society.
    Rory Miller. Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence (Kindle Locations 334-338). Kindle Edition. ”

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  • fche

    I think another angle of interest on this story is that the victim girl seemed more afraid of school administrators than of the kid bullies.  Isn’t that strange?

  • Ymarsakar

    It’s a toss up which one has more child rapists, Hollywood profit making or school hierarchies.
    When the Left put a bunch of homosexuals and pro homosexual people into the Catholic church, they kind of aggregated like minded people to themselves. But now that the Catholic Church has purged the vast majority of such folk, those kinds of people have to go somewhere.
    And guess where most of them ended up at.

  • RigelDog

    I would love to challenge those who give the “don’t fight back” advice and/or codify it in school regulations by asking them what a young woman should do if sexually attacked at school. Should she stand there in the midst of the gang and let the leader grab her breasts and crotch, so that there won’t be any question that it wasn’t a mutual “fight?” Oh, wait, she’s allowed to—in fact, encouraged to—employ self-defense techniques when sexually assaulted. She may fight back physically as much as she is able. Why is it against the rules to resist someone who is punching your face as opposed being permitted to resist someone who is grabbing your breast?

  • Ymarsakar

    The colleges tell girls that they should get drunk and piss themselves, in order to escape rapists.
    The Left isn’t particularly interested in letting girl slaves off the plantation.