“Mix It Up at Lunch Day” sounds like a great idea to combat social and interpersonal issues in school children by encouraging kids to, for a day, include all and sundry in their social interactions in school, but the American Family Association has struck out at the anti-bullying initiative as a veiled promotion of the “homosexual agenda.”
“Mix It Up at Lunch Day” is one of a number of grassroots initiatives to discourage bullying, but bullying itself is hard to both identify and define. Social difficulties are part and parcel of growing up, but a recent spate of bullying-related incidents, including suicide deaths following social pressure, have brought bullying to the forefront as a major social issue for teens.
Most recently, we learned of the case of Amanda Todd, a young teen who took her own life following what was reported as relentless online bullying. Todd posted a heart-wrenching video to YouTube explaining her distress and later died at her own hand when the problems continued.
Due to its subtle and subjective nature, bullying has thus far been difficult to combat, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, a social justice group, came up with “Mix It Up at Lunch Day” to promote positive social relations among teens.
As soon as the initiative began, however, there was pushback from the American Family Association, a group that believes “Mix It Up at Lunch Day” is a secret gay threat out to teach our kids to be gay by being nice to people. Or something.
AFA’s Bryan Fischer defended the “not a hate group” for its anti-anti-bullying stance, saying:
“The reality is we are not a hate group. We are a truth group … We tell the truth about homosexual behavior.”
“Anti-bullying legislation is exactly the same … It’s just another thinly veiled attempt to promote the homosexual agenda. No one is in favor of anyone getting bullied for any reason, but these anti-bullying policies become a mechanism for punishing Christian students who believe that homosexual behavior is not something that should be normalized.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Maureen Costello said she was shocked by the bizarre attack and that the framing of Mix It Up at Lunch Day was based on lies:
“I was surprised that they completely lied about what Mix It Up Day is … It was a cynical, fear-mongering tactic.”
Do you think reaching out to kids on the lunch table level can help stop bullying and prevent suicides?