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Is It Possible to Take Bullying Too Far?
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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This is a term that strikes fear in parents, frustration in teachers, horror in children, and anger in everyone else. These days, if you want a great corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign, champion this needy cause. Take the WWE, NEA or even the U.S. government. Each of the links are effective and important anti-bullying campaigns. No one deserves to be bullied and the dolts who do it are overgrown cowards who deserve someone to take to them a mudhole and stomp it dry. 

In fact, it can be argued the only dunderheads who deserve to be bullied are the bullies themselves. That said, it is very apparent what a bully is...and is not. Unfortunately, that word is becoming "trendy" and when that happens, muttonheads with just enough sense to put together a coherent sentence and can turn on the evening news think other things deserve that definition.

Meet "simpleton parent in Fort Worth, Texas who prefers to be nameless because he or she knows the foolishness of this report and the abuse of that dangerous, aforementioned term." 

Evidently, this is a parent who has been chumped once or twice in life, and while that is an atrocity, let's stick to the definition, shall we? Bullying is:
  • Seeing an obese kid in school and making fun of him when he is chowing down some Twinkies
  • Tripping a young person in crutches because you have two working legs (and you suck)
  • Faking attraction to a girl you consider "ugly" because the guys and mean girls will get a kick out of that
  • Picking on a younger, shorter, skinnier kid at school in the locker room because you are a corn-fed mule and think you can
That is bullying. This is what the parent considers bullying — Aledo High School has a juggernaut football team and they played Fort Worth Western Hills last week. Well, "played" is putting it mildly. They whooped that Fort Worth behind the way most "Friday Night Lights" fans appreciate. In fact, if you note the picture, Aledo demoralized Western Hills to the tune of 91-0. Yes, that's a butt kicking. Yes, that's an amazing football team playing a Pop Warner outfit. No, that is not bullying, you twit! 

I feel like the dude in "300" (sans the washboard abs and coifed beard) yelling "This is FOOTBALL!" If your child plays on a team that sucks, get him interested in basketball or band. If FW Western Hills felt like they were bullied, how about score a touchdown or quit the game? You think the coach appreciates some whiny, loose-lipped parent fighting his battle to the Aledo ISD board? Anonymous parent sent a letter — an official complaint — to administration officials claiming the FW Western Hills team was bullied by Aledo.

Aledo ISD administrators say the complaint suggests the coaches should have told players to take it easy on the competition. “I would never ask our kids not to play hard,” said Aledo football coach Tim Buchanan. “I would never tell them, ‘Go out and let them score’. That’s not what you want to teach kids.” Buchanan said by halftime, when his team was up 56 points, he began actively trying to keep the score down, subbing in backup players, letting the clock run continuously, and instructing players to make fair catch calls.

Before you complain, Aledo is in Week 7 of the Texas High School football season and has outscored its competition 485-47. Oh, and in that same time, FW Western Hills has lost four games by 60 points. Each game. Bullying or just stink at football? Big-mouthed parent or just someone who feels for his or her child? Bad PR for a bad football team or something larger for the public eye to see?

What do you think? 

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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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