Monday, November 15, 2010

The Godliness of Pink and Blue

Randi Foster is a 12 year old middle school student in Mississippi. After a meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Students in the school, several of her Christian classmates attacked her. They verbally abused her, kicked her, hit her and threw her into a table in the cafeteria. What, you may ask, provoked this attack? Apparently, these good Christian children think Randi is a man’s name and that enjoying sports, as Randi does, is something that only men do. You can read this story here.

Based on these incredibly narrow gender beliefs, the children felt entitled to teach Randi a lesson by verbally and physically attacking her. They must have been absent from Sunday school for the discussion about assault, bullying and harassment being not so consistent with Christian values. They were there for the discussion about the Godliness of pink and blue, I guess.

The entire assault was caught on school surveillance videos and the school principal has vowed to deal with the good Christian thugs who attacked Randi. Unfortunately, it seems no one from school has made an effort to help Randi get over her fear of returning to school. You have to also wonder where the advisor for the Fellowship of Christian Students is. Shouldn’t this adult be speaking out against violence and bullying? Did the advisor somehow give the children the impression that assault and battery is just desserts for girls named Randi or boys named Sue? Are they going to discuss this at the next meeting? Don't any of the Christian girls play sports at this school?

Children don’t just spontaneously hate gender non-conformity. They don’t just spontaneously feel entitled to beat up a classmate just because they think her name is a boy’s name and because she likes sports. They learned this from adults. It makes you wonder about the adults in this school and in the Church these children attend.

Coming on the heels of so many highly publicized suicides of school-aged young gay men who endured similar abuse and bullying from classmates, this incident is one more reminder that Christian groups who fight tooth and nail to prevent anti-bullying education in schools because they think it “legitimizes” the “gay agenda” need to take a good long look in the mirror and ask themselves, “What would Jesus do?” I don’t think he would be happy with what his followers did at this middle school in Mississippi.


helen carroll said...

This bullying story is horrific! I am so glad you are directing the GLSEN. Hopefully our 2 sports projects can do something about this! Thanks for your thoughtful insight and remarks.

Anonymous said...

I really liked your article.