Brickbat: Crossing a Line


Some parents of students at Wisconsin's Marinette Middle School aren't happy their children were asked to take part in a group activity requiring them to step forward in response to various questions. The school said the exercise was meant to build better relationships and reduce bullying. But parents say many of the questions could be embarrassing to students and provoke bullying. Among other things, students were asked to step forward if they were nervous they wouldn't finish high school, have parents who live in two different houses, have thought about hurting themselves, are adopted or would like a hug.

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  1. Cross the line if you have ever:

    * Been mean on Hit & Run

    1. Step!

    2. I’ll take a step… backwards! Because I’m always super nice, even – especially – to the idiots who don’t deserve it.

      1. Weren’t you mean to someone by having a different opinion than them on pizza?

    3. Isn’t that a pre-requisite of commenting?

    4. is it mean if you call a spade a spade or do you have to call it a fucking shovel?

      1. If it’s a fucking shovel, you’re using it wrong. They’re not designed for that purpose, and someone is going to get splinters.

      2. That depends how the spade feels

    5. FUCK YOU!


  2. fuck that

  3. “Ever saw someone getting picked on, but stood by & did nothing”

    I thought standing by and doing nothing is what schools *require* of the students, in pain of suspension.

    1. I thought they punished you for not joining in on the torment – to forment the ‘collective’ mentality.

    2. That reminds me of a kid my ex told me about at this school she counselled. This kid was constantly bullied and beaten up by a group of kids. So, one day he brought a knife to school and told them to fuck off.

      Well, the teachers found out and had him expelled and sent to the trouble children’s *school*.This *school* is full of the kids who were bullying him at the normal school. Now, I use school for this new place but its really just full of a bunch of behavioural counsellors trying to steer these shithead kids away from crime and stuff.

      It blew me away. This kid is getting bullied constantly, no one is helping him so he takes matters into his own hands to defend himself and they punish him. Poor kid. Every person involved in kicking him out of school is a piece of shit in my opinion.

      1. Smiling Joe Fission, greetings from the Smolensk Nuclear Power Plant.

    3. I got pushed around by a guy in grade school who ended up becoming a mobster.

      He was a really mean kid.

      But I stood up to him and took my licks. It also helps that it was the time I met ‘Butch’ who decided one day to become my body guard after seeing one of the bullying episodes.

      Butch is 6 foot 8 today. A super, successful, kind gentle giant. We played hockey and baseball together over the years.

  4. “Ever saw someone getting picked on, but stood by & did nothing”

    I thought standing by and doing nothing is what schools *require* of the students, in pain of suspension.

  5. You know who else made groups of people step forward on command?

    1. My drill sergeant at Basic Training?

    2. The director of the Bolshoi Ballet?

    3. Bad rappers?

    4. Michael Flatley?

    5. Kim Jong Il?

    6. Buddy Bizarre

    7. Principals handing out diplomas at grduation?

    8. Apparently, Fist of Etiquette.

    9. Do I have to step forward to give an answer?

    10. Rod Roddy?

  6. The drum major for the local high school band?

  7. I get the feeling like the teachers or admins or whoever that devised this stunt couldn’t get some grand movie moment out of their heads. One where the bully who is cool but secretly nice steps forward on one of the embarrassing questions to be a *leader* which then sets off a chain reaction of people finally being honest and friendly.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the level of thought that went into this exercise.

    1. Because life really is just like a John Hughes movie.

      1. mmmm, I’d say George Romero

    2. I broke the dam!

      No – I broke the dam!

      I…broke the dam…

    3. That’s interesting. I was looking at the list of questions, imagining the scene, and trying to figure out what the point of this exercise was, especially if the questions were asked in the order listed. And then there’s this:

      “What might have confused some students is that the room where they completed the alternate exercise was used in the past as an in-school suspension room,” said Limberg. “Unfortunately, this might have been perceived by some students as something punitive merely due to the location, but there was nothing disciplinary about the alternate exercise.”

      If Cross the Line was the regular exercise, I’m trying to imagine how dumb the alternate exercise must’ve been. Cross the Line was described as being:

      “to build strong, more respectful relationships among students, and help them better understand the diversity that surrounds them.”

      Seems like the tried and true “show & tell” accomplishes that, with the bonus of giving students practice at making present’ns. Plus, you can have every student make a present’n, rather than just allowing them to cross a line or stand still, which they can practically do in their sleep.

  8. Once again, the state is the biggest bully of them all.

    (I’m sorry if I sound like Anonbot repeating the same thing over and over.)

    1. No, you haven’t reached anonbot levels of annoyance yet. Not like sarcasmic, who’s lapped anonbot and seriously needs a new schtick.

      1. can we shove that new stick right up…?

        1. It won’t fit with the shovel in the way.

          1. So Sarcasmic’s ass is a shovel-ready project?

      2. So you’re telling me I’m going to have to try harder?

        1. Find your own way or you’ll just be a pale imitation of another commenter.

        2. That jsut makes a lot of sense when you think about it man. Wow


      3. Many consider my Daily Fails to be a public service.

        I will not cow to your heckler’s veto.

        1. It’s your asking permission and tolerence tirades I can’t stand.

          1. Agreed. At least find a new way to word it.

        2. Based on your preference for females that look anorectic, I don’t think you’ll be cowing to anything.

          1. I don’t go for cows, if that’s what you mean.

            1. mooo, baby, mooo

  9. if bullying is a problem, then most of the blame lies with the educrats, the ones who took the notion of fighting back as a viable response. What morons. Bullies are basically pussies. You don’t have to win a fight with one, you just have to be willing to have one. Most bullies look for the path of least resistance and the kid who fights back is usually left alone afterwards.

    1. Yeah. I was a small skinny kid and I was bullied unmercifully by a big kid in grade school.

      I finally got enough of that shit. In the 6th grade on the playground I pulled a dead limb out of an oak tree and laid him out. I was never bullied again.

      I ran into that guy again when we were in our mid-thirties. He was very quiet, withdrawn and meek. He was not married, had no children and worked as a computer tech. I found out that his father had been a dope head and got himself murdered when the bully kid was about 7-8. The father must have really pissed off the wrong people. They beat him to death with a hose.

      Holy shit I felt guilty about cracking the kid’s head.

      1. I had an incident or two like that, but at the end of the day, you know what? I don’t care what the bully’s excuse was.

        I care in the sense that I don’t want any kid to come from an abusive home or to be emotionally troubled or anything else, but that doesn’t justify being a bully. Plenty of kids had problems and didn’t deal with them by picking on anyone smaller and weaker.

  10. So Jesus comes upon the townspeople stoning a young boy for hullying another boy. Jesus stops them, and talks to the townspeople, and asks, “Aren’t we ALL the bully at some point? He’s actually weak and needs our love and help.”

    And the townspeople looked down in shame, dropping their stones. And Jesus said,

    “Let you who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    An older woman bent over, picked up a good-sized stone, looked it over, and threw it at the bully, striking him quite hard. And Jesus said,

    “God damnit, mom!!”

    1. Never would have happened. Maryam bet Channah v’Nazareth was a Jewish mother. Before Jesus could have opened his mouth she would have said “What son are you? I have to bend down to pick up this rock like a dog? Not like my back doesn’t already hurt from all the years I had to carry you around when you were a young boy! You couldn’t have thought to pick up a rock for your mother? How many more times are you going to break your mother’s heart, Yeshua? First, I’m never going to have a grandson, and now this? Oy vey ist mir! Just kill me! Just kill me now and be done with it.”

      1. ::claps slowly::

      2. I dated a Jewish woman for a while, and her mom fit every single stereotype there is for a Jewish mother.

        1. I’m dating a Jewish girl now. I hope her mom doesn’t fit them all (nowhere near the meeting parents point), though I already know she’s a lawyer.

  11. Wow. Simply inexcusable.

    All those questions, and not *one* is
    “Cross the line if you: Touch yourself ‘down there'”.

    Seriously, let the lawsuits begin, “to build strong, more respectful relationships among [students school officials], and help them better understand the diversity that surrounds them.”

  12. I wonder how the teacher’s union would react if the PTA lined all the teachers up and asked them to step forward to various embarrassing questions? “Step forward if you’ve ever thought one of your students was ‘hot.'”

    1. Excellent.


      “Step forward if you’ve ever lied in a ‘Cross-the-Line’ session.”

  13. As I’ve just finished my Institutional Review Board (IRB) re-cert, this kind of shit has been on my mind. If I wanted to do this as part of a research project, my proposal would be thrown in the trash as it violates several Federal laws and regulation covering research with human subjects, especially, children (look up the Belmont report, the Health and Human Services regulations in 45 CFR 46, and the FDA’s “Common Rule” for more info); however, if a principal gets a bug up his ass about bullying, he can have the kids participate in an activity that would be considered unethical and illegal if it were research that was designed by a scholar and reviewed by a group of scholars, much less give any thought to informed consent, minimization of risk and maximizing benefit, conflict of interest, and no coercive recruitment of subjects.

    1. So you support what they did then. Excellent.

    2. A perk of enforcing the rules is that you do not have to follow them.

      1. Indeed, all of the named regulations have lovely little exceptions for when the Feds want to do research.

        1. They have exemptions from the “privacy” parts of HIPAA too, don’t they?

          Fucking bastards.

          1. They have exemptions from the “privacy” parts of HIPAA too, don’t they?

            I just reviewed that 2 days ago. If memory serves right, Personal Health Information (PHI) gathered before the law can be grandfathered in to research, that applies to anyone. And the HHS can peek in as long as they, eventually, dissociate data from 18 different personal identifiers.

            1. Again, don’t quote me on that though…it could be jumbled in my brain as I didn’t pay full attention to that part as I don’t do biomed research.

        2. Isn’t there an exception for every law?

          1. Where’s my exception to the law of conservation of energy?

            1. Come on, UCS, you’re a regular.

              It’s *Warty*.

    3. Teach the kids self-defense and hold the parents of bullies accountable. Too often they punish both victim and bully and to me, even when I was in school, that’s corrosive.

      Don’t know about people here but I seem to recall this approach created a cynical atmosphere since they knew the bully was (and teachers knew too, let’s be frank) at fault but the school failed show balls and deal with the bully ONLY.

      Simplistic sure, but it’s a basic law of human nature I use here: Self-defense.

      1. Schools are run by leftists, and leftists abhor self defense. They view it as vigilante justice. Only government agents are allowed to use force. Using force to defend yourself is doing the government’s job, so that equates to vigilante justice. That’s why they punish self defense.

  14. More people should homeschool. Outcomes can be quite amazing when you do.

  15. No alt-text is crossing the line.

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