Hillary Clinton

Trump Effect? School Bullying Isn't Increasing, But Hillary Clinton Wants to Spend $500 Million Fighting It

Clinton and Co. blame Trump from a rise in bullying that may not even be happening.

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Hillary
Paul Hennessy/Polaris/Newscom

Making use of time-honored federal government logic—we have to do something about X, and this is something, so we must do this—Hillary Clinton has proposed $500 million in federal spending on school anti-bullying initiatives.

Under Clinton's plan, titled "Better Than Bullying," the feds would use the money to essentially bribe states into hiring more school counsellors, developing suicide prevention and mental health programs, re-training teachers, and cracking down on cyberbullying. Tax increases would pay for it, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Supporters argue the program is necessary because bullying is on the rise—and it's all Donald Trump's fault, the Clinton campaign alleges.

Indeed, this has become a Clinton talking point. "Teachers and parents call it the 'Trump effect,'" she said during the second presidential debate. "Bullying is up. A lot of people are feeling uneasy, a lot of kids are expressing their concerns."

The National Education Association—the country's most powerful teachers' union, and an important pillar of support for the former secretary of state—has seized upon the idea that Trump's candidacy has somehow made schoolyard bullying worse. "Amid Trump-inspired spike in school bullying, Clinton announces national initiative," is how the NEA heralded Clinton's plan on its website. Another NEA headline: "'Trump Effect' elicits 'disgraceful' behavior from some students, strikes fear in others, educators say."

This is a transparently politically useful argument for Team Clinton: my opponent is making your kids less safe! Think of the children! But is it true?

We have no idea.

The NEA has cited the anecdotal evidence of a handful of its members. It also cited a Southern Poverty Law Center survey that found the Trump campaign was producing "an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color." But:

Our survey of approximately 2,000 K-12 teachers was not scientific. Our email subscribers and those who visit our website are not a random sample of teachers nationally, and those who chose to respond to our survey are likely to be those who are most concerned about the impact of the presidential campaign on their students and schools.

So that doesn't count. But can we do better?

As it so happens, the National Center for Education Statistics collects scientifically sound data on teen bullying rates. Unfortunately, the most recently available data is for the year 2013 (it was published in 2015). Data for 2014 won't be released for a few more months. Data that takes into account the "Trump effect" won't be available for years, presumably.

"2013 is the most recent year for which we have published data on student bullying," NCES's Lauren Musu-Gillette told me via email.

Still, the 2013 figures were interesting. According to the NCES, 22 percent of kids ages 12-18 were bullied at school in 2013. That was an improvement over previous years: the bullying rate was 28 percent in 2011 and 2009, and 32 percent in 2007. School bullying, it seems, is falling.

Has Trump singlehandedly reversed this trend? There are no data to support such an assertion.

It may even be the case that perceived bullying is rising even as actual bullying continues to fall. That's because "bullying" is prone to something psychologist Jonathan Haidt calls "concept creep." For behavior to be considered bullying, it used to have meet certain criteria: a power imbalance between the perpetrator and the victim, intentionality, and repetition. These days, bullying is typically defined more broadly, as virtually any form of unwanted behavior.

In light of evolving definitions, Haidt is concerned that grand efforts to combat bullying—broadly defined—might be ill-advised.

"The concept of bullying has experienced such massive concept creep in psychology and education circles that these new programs are likely to target a great deal of the normal conflict kids have with each other," he told me via email. "Such a policy focus is likely to intensify the victimhood culture and moral dependency that has been growing so rapidly on college campuses."

Colleges have fallen victim to administrative bloat: They have hired more and more non-teaching personnel, causing tuition to skyrocket. Clinton's anti-bullying plan would likely have the same effect, encouraging K-12 schools to employ more counsellors and social workers. What happens when the federal funding runs out? This new anti-bullying bureaucracy won't just go away.

To recap: We don't know if bullying is getting worse, let alone whether Trump is the cause. And we don't really know whether hiring an army of non-teaching staff would lessen the problem. But Clinton wants the federal government to throw another $500 million at it anyway.

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109 responses to “Trump Effect? School Bullying Isn't Increasing, But Hillary Clinton Wants to Spend $500 Million Fighting It

  1. Who made a contribution to the Foundation for this payoff?

    1. I know who is making withdrawals.

  2. I love how progressives think bullying is such a problem, then they proceed to fight bullying by mercilessly bullying anyone who doesn’t completely agree with them.

    1. Thugs claim to be against thuggery.

      Projection – What can’t it explain?

      1. Projection – What can’t it explain?

        Quantum physics?

      2. Juggalos?

    2. The State is the biggest bully of them all.

    3. And we have a bunch of non-bullies committing suicide in the military.

      Why tackle that problem? Military members are overwhelmingly voting for Trump.

    4. Bullying never goes down. It just changes targets.

      Kids at my school are wonderful to our handicapped kids, gay kids, and other formerly targeted groups.

      This year, I have more openly racist Trump-supporting kids, more religious “I hate Muslims” kids and their ilk that have been inspired by Trump.

      On the same token, I’ve also seen anyone who even asks questions that in any way challenge the “social justice warrior” kids then get bullied and abused whenever they speak up.
      A kid said that he wasn’t sure what was going on with racism and wondered if Obama’s election meant America was less racist. That kid gets bullied like hell now by the SJW kids.
      Sucks.

      I have to tell them “guys, we’re humans. We can disagree, just be decent about it. Not hard”

    5. And they make it so that fighting back is worse, and not agreeing with them is the same as bullying.

  3. There is no problem that government can’t, and won’t, make worse. This includes things merely thought to be problems, things that used to be problems, things that aren’t problems yet but may become problems, and things that fall under the broad category of “I don’t like it or approve of it, or I wouldn’t do it, so it’s a problem that you do. You must be stopped.”

    1. Eric Schneiderman and daily fantasy sports.

      1. He was just angry that the state wasn’t getting a piece of the action.

    2. Shirley you can’t be serious.

  4. I’m thinking of starting a Pro-Bulllying Foundation. I think we need to revive this great and useful American tradition we used to use to toughen up kids.

    1. Is your first revenue model going to be having kids shake down other kids for lunch money and take a cut?

    2. I agree. But only let boys do the bullying, as girls take it too far, and never, ever let go, or forget a slight, unkind word or look. Boys will smack each other down and be playing together 20 minutes later. A girl will remember what Susie did to her in 5th grade, while she’s posting the nasty picture of Susie that she took in the locker room, that leads to the social media commentary that convinces Susie to off herself.

      1. I never understood the utility of the endless grudge, even though I’ve seen it more than once.

        1. It adds both purpose and spice to life!

        2. Some people are worth hating forever.

        3. Over the years I have decided that maybe my vision wasn’t always as pristine as I thought it was at the time, that people grow and learn; they do change.

          I have softened up considerably in my old age. I tend to give most people a lot of slack.

      2. I agree. But only let boys do the bullying, as girls take it too far, and never, ever let go, or forget a slight, unkind word or look.

        We see that sexual dimorphism in our politicians too.

  5. Half a billion dollars, yet she isn’t going to increase the deficit by a nickel. No wonder people are so excited to vote for her: she’s magical!!

    1. Look under your chair everyone.

      You get a phone! You get a car! You get an anti-bullying campaign!

  6. I feel bullied by this proposal. She wants to take my lunch money!

  7. I don’t have kids and I don’t bully kids, get I get out of the tax increase?

    What’s that?

    Fuck me, pay you?

    That’s what I thought.

    1. By not bullying kids, you are freeing the kids you’re not bullying to bully others, and thereby are a BULLY.

      1. As T.R. would say, “Bully!”

      2. To Democrats 2 + 2 = $12T debt increase.

  8. This is the second paragraph of Hill’s pointless plan:

    But we still have work to do to make that promise real for our kids. Children with disabilities are mocked for their perceived differences. LGBT and Muslim students are targeted because of who they are or how they pray. Latino and immigrant children turn on the television and are told they don’t belong. When bias influences our children and manifests itself in the form of bullying, we have to act. We must make our classrooms and playgrounds inclusive spaces to learn and ensure the Internet is a safer place to explore new ideas. We must teach our kids the value of kindness and provide them the social and emotional skills they need to develop healthy relationships. And we must address bullying for what it is: an urgent crisis that contributes to poor academic performance, increased incidence of depression, and in some extreme cases, suicide.

    Was anyone here not “bullied” at some point by someone? Have we already forgotten Lord of the Flies?

    1. Was anyone here not “bullied” at some point by someone?

      We may not be the best example to use.

      1. Football players are bullied, the attractive “cool” kids feel bullied, everyone at some point feels “bullied.” For some people it is a horrible aspect of life and it overwhelms them, but unfortunately I don’t think some fat school teachers telling others it’s wrong is going to change that.

    2. I had a bully with perfect attendance. I didn’t get one day off from that fuck.

      1. That implies you had perfect attendence too.

        Are you some kind of nerd?

        1. Yes. I thought it was obvious…I guess I’ll have to nerd harder.

          *puts pocket protector on*

          1. Tell me you had a strip of thick white tape holding your large-rimmed glasses together.

        2. See: hipster.

          1. Among Florida Men, it is possible to be a hipster by simply being what other states would call ‘normal’.

    3. “Children with disabilities are mocked for their perceived differences. LGBT and Muslim students are targeted because of who they are or how they pray. Latino and immigrant children turn on the television and are told they don’t belong. When bias influences our children and manifests itself in the form of bullying, we have to act.”

      Oooooh. I didn’t read that before. Now I get it. She is using the ‘words are violence’ bit to up the bullying stats. She is going to try and turn this into a poison arrow for the first A.

      Let me rant yet again: Hillary Clinton is the most dangerous person to ever get this close to the WH, and that includes that yammering idiot who is in there now.

      1. “Children with disabilities are mocked for their perceived differences. LGBT and Muslim students are targeted because of who they are or how they pray. Latino and immigrant children turn on the television and are told they don’t belong. When bias influences our children and manifests itself in the form of bullying, we have to act.”

        “White children are told that they’re racist because of their skin color.”

        1. “LGBT students are targeted by Muslim students because of who they are.”

          Fixed it to make it more accurate.

          But of course she would never admit this because being Muslim means you can oppress women and gays all you want and still get a pass. It’s just like being a corrupt politician is totally okay as long as you’re a democrat.

        2. See, and when the Alt-Right says, “Diversity is a codeword for anti-white”, Things like what the Hillary campaign does adds legitimacy to their argument.

    4. And if you are not being bullied, are you even being noticed?

      1. That’s othering.

    5. we still have work to do

      The First Commandment of the Progressive Bible.

    6. Nothing says “safer place to explore new ideas” like what these assholes get up to on a daily basis.

    7. I was bullied and never bullied anyone because of it.

      I also stuck up for bullied kids sometimes.

      Life is tough and so is life.

  9. “Teachers and parents call it the ‘Trump effect,'” [Hillary] said

    Bullshit.

    1. I’m sure she has some teachers and parents on her staff who use the phrase because they’re told to.

      1. she has some teachers and parents on her staff who use the phrase because they’re told to “Trump-effected” into

    2. The people I know who work in the retail sector inform me that despite security measures, stealing is becoming more of a rampant problem than ever. I’m thinking we can call this the “Clinton effect.”

      I wonder how well that would go over.

      1. Partisan shit like this is so fucking annoying. She should remember how retards like Bill Bennett claimed that kids didn’t think blowjobs were sex anymore because of her husband and there was a fellatio epidemic that resulted.
        Hillary is a dishonest freak show.

  10. The Trump effect is so powerful it is manifesting in Joe Biden and many many Hillary supporters. The guy just projects evil everywhere he goes.

    The problem isnt Hillary with her incessant lying and whipping up fake bullshit issues, the problem are the millions of morons who buy her shit.

    Someone linked recently to one of the emails between her aides where they complained that they had to try and talk her out of certain false narratives because if she repeats them several times she comes to actually beleiveher own bullshit. Her supporters believe it because she said it despite plain evidence right in front of their eyes (classic useful idiots). This is a recipe for disaster.

    1. Just as it’s obvious when pols are pandering to men (bring back manufacturing jobs! bomb isis into the Stone Age!) it’s equally obvious when they pander to the women. Hilary’s whole quote is a laser to females, and as you say, they’ll buy that bullshit wholesale.

      1. …and every single woman involved in prostitution is doing it because she is being trafficked and every woman that has sex with a male college student after a drink or two is being raped.

        1. I’m still trying to find out: If a transgendered biological male who identifies as female gets drunk with a transgendered biological female who identifies male and they have sex, which is the rapist and which is the victim?

  11. cracking down on cyberbullying

    That is, monitoring and restricting access to the Internet.

  12. This is beautifully targeted at the paranoid, suburban mother voting block. I will be interested in seeing if married women will be voting for Clinton, as in the past they have trended republican.

    1. paranoid suburban mother

      Nice band name.

    2. My wife fits the description of a paranoid suburban mother but she has always only voted for democrats. I have noticed though that one of our neighbors who also has young kids had a Romney sign in their yard in 2012 and now has Hillary signs. I don’t know how paranoid they are though, since they let their 6 year old and his little sister walk their dog by themselves.

  13. “A lot of people are feeling uneasy” [, Hillary said.]

    Well, sheesh — drop out of the race, then!

  14. Did any schoolkid anywhere at any point in US history ever once take behavioral cues from presidential candidates?

    1. I understand a lot of kids picked up on the “oral sex is not sex” cue.

      Oh, wait. That was a *president*. Never mind.

    2. I did a mean LBJ imitation as a schoolkid, so yes.

      1. I used to sometimes do my homework while sitting on the toilet. Does that count as an LBJ impression?

    3. In 5th grade, we had to do a report on our favorite president. Not knowing much, I asked my mom and she told me I should do FDR. We had to dress up as the president so I got a pair of metal framed glasses and a cigarette holder complete with a cigarette provided by my aunt. Although I was against smoking at the time as an 11 year old, I picked up the habit when I was 17. SO there you have it-you can blame the proggie superhero FDR for my becoming a smoker for over 20 years.

      1. Well then it was lucky for you that you did not roll around the school in a wheelchair that day.

        Or pretend to be married to your homely cousin who secretly preferred women.

  15. That sounds like a great idea, Hills. But I can make it slightly. How about taking that $500M directly from the Clinton Foundations’ coffers. That sounds like a more than worthwhile charitable cause. Just empty the bank account and end this problem. Need more money to fight bullying? Get Bill’s sorry ass back on the lecture circuit. I’m sure you can find more than a few foreign governments that are willing to help fund such a wonderful endeavor (for a small favor, of course).

    Oh, and by the way, FUCK OFF CUNT!!

    1. Oh, now, there’s no need for that kind of language! And Cunts in general are much more pleasant that Her Shrillness.

  16. They want to make the internet a safer place to explore new ideas? It looks like Michael Hihn might just win (even though he’s one of the biggest bullies on this website if you accept his definition of bullying).

    1. Once again, The Grinch cannot answer a simple question and resorts to name calling. You “libertarians” are even bigger bullies than the “SJWs” you always complain about.

      (Caps in response to direct aggression.)

      /Hihney

  17. I can’t think of any “solution” to bullying, short of turning schools into supermax prisons where kids aren’t allowed to talk to or have any contact with each other and have to eat their lunches by themselves and are allowed 30 minutes a day of exercise in isolation. The kids will have to sleep at the school too, since bullying can easily happen off school grounds. Maybe that is exactly what these expert supergeniuses have in mind, which is why they are demanding so much money. Or, more likely, they will give out a bunch of grants to different universities and dem-friendly orgs to “study” the problem and put up a bunch of “no bullying ” posters at schools, which we all know will solve the problem. My guess is that as much as they want to do the former, the latter will happen.

  18. “Let’s all get together; And make bullying kill itself.”

  19. From what I have seen with my son, pretty much all communication among elementary school kids could be considered bullying-kids make fun of each other all the time, esp boys, and then are BFFs the next day. I have a bad feeling that any perceived bullying by boys towards girls is going to result in the boy’s expulsion under Title IX, if these people get their way.

    1. And they want us to believe it is a patriarchal society!!!

  20. This is a transparently politically useful argument for Team Clinton: my opponent is making your kids less safe! Think of the children! But is it true?

    Let me think about that for 3 seconds…..No, it’s obvious bullshit.

    1. Team Blue’s followers are incapable of thinking for 3 nanoseconds, which is why they can pull off this BS.

  21. So this $500 million would flow to the NEA for programs and councilors and all sorts of make work. Sounds legit.

    1. How is this not corruption? Feeding taxpayer money to special interests groups that advocate your (re) election.

  22. You want to stop bullying in schools? Easy and cheap. You already have P.E. classes. Teach boxing!

    Most bullies stop when they get punched in the face.

    1. This.

      I got bullied growing up. Every time I got fed up and punched one, that particular jerk never bullied me again. Worked every time.

      Unfortunately, this technique does not work with government bullies. Or at least I’m not willing to risk finding out if it might.

  23. I wonder if the Berkeley students who blocked a bridge to stop others from attending classes through intimidation count as “bullies.”

    1. Nope-its not bullying when the victims are doing it.

  24. To recap: We don’t know if bullying is getting worse, let alone whether Trump is the cause. And we don’t really know whether hiring an army of non-teaching staff would lessen the problem. But Clinton wants the federal government to throw another $500 million at it anyway.

    WELL WHAT’S *YOUR* PLAN?? I BET YOU DONT EVEN HAVE A PLAN!!! “DO NOTHING”, THAT’S WHAT YOU ALWAYS SAY!! HOW CAN PEOPLE LIKE YOU RUN ANYTHING!? YOU HAVE NO IDEAS

  25. “time-honored federal government logic?we have to do something about X, and this is something, so we must do this”

    I just want to say, I love that line.

    1. This one was my favorite: “Such a policy focus is likely to intensify the victimhood culture and moral dependency that has been growing so rapidly on college campuses.”

  26. “”Teachers and parents call it the ‘Trump effect,'””

    The other day my son (8 years old) told me he doesn’t like Donald Trump because he made fun of a crippled kid, which is obviously a mashup of the time Trump made fun of a reporter* with the Clinton television ad (which runs quite frequently on my tv) about a handicapped kid who feels slighted because of Trump’s belittling the reporter. Now my son tells me he doesn’t want me voting for Trump.** Now, there is almost zero political talk in my house. So what, really, is the Trump Effect? I think it’s probably teachers blowing political wind up my second grader’s ass.

    *Yes, I am aware Trump is an asshole.
    **I will be voting for Gary Johnson.

    1. Loved your comment! **

      **I will be voting for Gary Johnson also, but I live in Ca where it doesn’t matter.

    2. You did not see the video of the gestures Trump makes when mocking anyone? The hand gestures were not directed at the reporter. I was here on the Interweb! The reporter could not move his right arm and hand. It is a real eye opener! It is just another way the Clinton campaign has mislead the public. http://www.catholics4trump.com/the-tr…..isability/

      I am ex-Catholic times decades.

  27. I note that Clinton’s plan came out exactly one day after Scott Adams talked at length about being bullied by Hillary Clinton supporters. A coincidence? Or perhaps Elizabeth Warren’s encouraging women to become “nasty” against Trump made the wrong impression and this is damage control.

    1. I worry much more about a President Warren in 2020 than I do about a second President Clinton in 2016.

  28. To recap: We don’t know if bullying is getting worse, let alone whether Trump is the cause.

    Yes, we do. He isn’t.

    But I’m sure a lot of self-described victims voting for Clinton like to blame him for all the problems and fears in their lives…despite any oppression from Trump existing only in their own heads.

    1. I was repeatedly bullied by Clinton’s (his/her) government minions, way back when! It, all, resulted in the loss of my career. I hope this is their (and their minions) karma! The participating physicians will be getting theirs if Obamacare continues. LOL!

  29. Sounds to me like another desperate attempt to shore up the aspect of the Public Education System most important to the Progressives; the number of Union employees it shelters.

  30. I think the term “bully” is offensively gendered, enforcing male-dominated stereotypes. I’d suggest replacing it with a gender neutral term, like “bovine”. Even better, we should compensate for centuries of discrimination and pick a term that affirms that women can behave in this way, so maybe we should simply use the term “bitch” instead of “bully”.

    How’s that? “Hillary wants to spend $500 million to fight bitches.”

  31. Just another step in a Leftist’s dream of step by step overthrowing the Constitution and centralizing power. The Founding Fathers effectively set up a Constitution forbidding centralization. Two more Leftists/Socialists SCOTUS members and you can forget the Constitution as it will be nullified. And Liar Media will rejoice!

  32. RE: Trump Effect? School Bullying Isn’t Increasing, But Hillary Clinton Wants to Spend $500 Million Fighting It
    Clinton and Co. blame Trump from a rise in bullying that may not even be happening.

    There’s nothing wrong with spending millions of tax dollars on a non-existent problem.
    Our ruling elitist turds have been doing it for over a hundred years now.
    Why stop a good thing?

  33. It’s not about solving any societal problem, it’s about half-a-billion going to some favored constituency. Once that starts, the “problem’ will never go away or be solved.

    All of this is about “payoffs to favored constituents.”

  34. Pillow-talk is often more influential than golf-talk, and the bully idea may be one Hillary got late one night from Bill.

    Here’s the sort of thing Bill did as president: he set off the 2009 economic collapse with a “solution” to a non-existent problem.

    Need proof? Here are clips from “Reckless Endangerment” by Gretchen Morgenson:

    “Clinton launched the National Partners in Homeownership, a private-public cooperative with one goal: raising the numbers of homeowners across America.

    “Clinton’s homeownership plan differed from its predecessors. The strategy was not a reaction to an economic calamity, as was the case during the Great Depression. Back then, the government created the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, which acquired and refinanced one million delinquent mortgages between 1933 and 1936. On the contrary, the homeownership strategy of 1994 came about as the economy was rebounding from the recession of 1990 and ’91 and about to enter a long period of enviable growth.

    “The partnership would achieve its goals by “making homeownership more affordable, expanding creative financing, simplifying the home buying process, reducing transaction costs, changing conventional methods of design and building less expensive houses, among other means.”

    (Cont’d)

    1. (Cont’d from above)

      “Little attention was paid to its unique and most troubling aspect: It was unheard of for regulators to team up this closely with those they were charged with policing.

      “Instead, in just a few short years, all of the venerable rules governing the relationship between borrower and lender went out the window, starting with the elimination of the requirements that a borrower put down a substantial amount of cash in a property, verify his income, and demonstrate an ability to service his debts.

      “Clinton’s prediction about the middle class was perhaps the biggest myth of all. Rather than building it up, the Partners in Homeownership wound up decimating the middle class. It left Americans in this large economic group groaning under a mountain of debt and withdrawing cash from their homes as a way to offset stagnant incomes.

      “For millions of families, especially those in the lower economic segments of the population, borrowing to buy a home had put them squarely on the road to personal and financial ruin.

      “The homeownership drive helped to plunge the nation into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

  35. Who is bigger bullies than Social Justice Warriors?

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  37. Blaming Trump and Conservatives. That’s rich. Because it’s been my experience that it’s the Liberal Left and their policies of forgiveness and understanding that promote bullying in every school district in this country. Certain students are immune from discipline because of their background. Violent, out of control students are left in school to disrupt classes, infect others with their attitude, and commit actual criminal acts without repercussion. It’s a disaster. There is a reason teachers are quitting the profession in droves.

  38. Blaming Trump and Conservatives. That’s rich. Because it’s been my experience that it’s the Liberal Left and their policies of forgiveness and understanding that promote bullying in every school district in this country. Certain students are immune from discipline because of their background. Violent, out of control students are left in school to disrupt classes, infect others with their attitude, and commit actual criminal acts without repercussion. It’s a disaster. There is a reason teachers are quitting the profession in droves.

    1. Do you honestly think that, conservative, Christian values, like forgiveness and understanding, truly, have any part of their behavior?! It is, more likely, related to their ability to ignore the truth. All the while, they refuse to discipline those who need it, punishing kids who stand up to bullies!

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