Principal Luke Zedwick says it’s their own damn fault if kids are bullied. Yes, really
Buckle up, parents, because this genius principal from Oregon just solved a whole lot of problems for a whole lot of kids. Luke Zedwick, principal of Centennial Elementary School in Scio, Oregon, has found the solution to bullying. Never mind that bullying has existed literally forever; it’s all about to end, because Zedwick solved it. Are you ready?
Bullied kids needs to be less annoying.
Yep. That’s what an actual elementary school principal thinks causes bullying. In a video he posted to Facebook, Zedwick explains his whole theory about how kids who bully definitely have no responsibility here. Nope, it’s the kids who get bullied who need to change their behavior.
“In my experience, the kids who get bullied are usually not very good friends. They’re not good at being a friend,” Zedwick says in the episode of his series Parent Academy entitled, “Let’s Talk About Bullies.”
He continues, “They tend to annoy people; maybe without knowing it, but usually they do know it and usually enjoy. Those tend to be the kids who get bullied, and the reasoning of a bully is that those kids deserve it, or, ‘I’m going to teach them a lesson.'”
Yes. What you actually just read is that this principal, who’s supposed to be a leader and a role model for elementary aged children, thinks that kids who are bullied probably have it coming and should just be better friends. Because the victim is always at fault, right? Why would we have anything to say to the actual bullies, who made the choice to harass or intimidate a classmate? They’re just evening the score, you know — teaching those annoying kids how to be better. Not enough eye rolls in the world.
Oh, and Zedwick has some advice for parents of bullies. Because it’s not bad enough that school is a miserable experience for some kids — here’s why it’s also your fault, Mom and Dad!
“So if you find your kid being a target, one thing you can do to help them, separate from the bullying, is you can help them learn not to be annoying,” Zedwick says. “Say, ‘OK, my kid is getting picked on. What’s the way that they alienate themselves from others?’ Maybe it’s not annoying people on purpose, but there’s something where they’re alienating themselves from their peers, and in so doing, they kind of create on their back, a target.”
According to KPTV, a Fox affiliate in Zedwick’s town, some parents are pushing back, accusing him of “victim shaming.” And they’re right. That’s exactly what he’s doing. I can’t believe this even has to be said, but kids who are bullied aren’t responsible for changing their behavior. Kids who do the bullying make a choice to act poorly. They’re the ones who need to change. How are we still having this conversation in 20-fucking-18?
That fact aside, can you imagine telling your upset kid, who has been bullied at school, that it will stop if your kid just becomes a better, less annoying friend? This is horrifying. “It sends a message to them that it’s their fault and they’re not fun to hang out with,” says Nicole Loveberg, a parent of a child at Zedwick’s school.
We’ll just be here hoping and praying that Zedwick’s kids are never victims of bullying.