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Born To Bully? Mom Talk

A Canadian school isn't going gaga over Gaga.

She kinda freaks me out a little. Maybe it's because I'm, ahem, older. Maybe it's because I just don't get it. I'm no longer cool. Not hip to the current jive. I no longer slip skin or get down. Whatever the reason, Lady Gaga is off my radar.

Except for one thing: her anti-bullying messages. She has used her fame to bring attention to an epidemic in our schools. This is Fonzie cool.

Some parents disagree. A Canadian school in a town called Burnaby has a gay-friendly policy. The school is trying to post a YouTube video of its students dancing to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" song to promote anti-bullying.

In Canada, Feb. 29 is Pink Shirt Day to stop bullying. A civic group, called Burnaby Parents' Voice, is trying to block the video.

According to Burnaby Now, the group is concerned that the project violates the school requirements for "highest morality" and to not endorse any one-world view. The group reportedly protests Lady Gaga's imagery of masturbation, semi-nudity, a birth scene and crotch shots.

Morality schmorality.

I'm of the Prince and Cyndi Lawwpah era. My mom used to think they were off the charts bizarre, despite their immense talent. Crotch shots? Have they never seen Purple Rain? Perhaps Lady Gaga is about on par with that. As a young'un, I loved the song She Bop when it came out. I had no idea until a decade later that it was about female masturbation.

Gone are the days of the Leave-it-to-Beaver-style teasing. Gone, too, is the dissin' that was popular in my day. Today's kids have a whole different onslaught of harassment that would make even the strongest adult quiver: instant media. There is simply no comparison between what they face now and what we faced then. Not even the same ballpark.

So yes, I'm on board with Lady Gaga's message. I agree with the school's attempt to make kids aware of bullying—especially since it includes Lady Gaga. It's not a gay thing. It's not a fat thing. It's not a dumb thing. It's a decency thing.

Being non-hip, I would say "buh-bye" to Burnaby Parents' Voice and "you go girl" to Lady Gaga.

Tina Tuszynski March 02, 2012 at 06:03 PM
"It takes a village to raise a child." I agree parents need to bear responsibility for raising their children correctly. But we've also established that if the parents demonstrate and teach bullying behavior, they are setting a bad example for their child and the cycle continues. If other information is disseminated through schools, churches, and friends, though, the child will at least have other examples from which to learn. I consider that to be my situation - I grew up in Chicago during the 60's and 70's, where racism was prevalent. My parents and extended family, unfortunately, used racist terms in regular conversation, and preached stereotypes. While I love them dearly, I don't agree with their beliefs and have taught my son differently. I am proud that he has friends of different races, ethnic backgrounds, and sexualities. Had it not been for my exposure to other thoughts and ideas during my childhood, from school, friends, education, and personal experiences, I might have grown up with the same attitudes and beliefs. I am thankful to live in a country where we have freedom of information and the ability to be exposed to different cultures and ways of thought. As Jeff Ward mentioned way earlier, rock stars have been doing crazy, controversial things since rock began. I can remember hiding my old Grand Funk Railroad album because of its controversial (for the time) inside cover. Kudos to Lady Gaga for preaching a message of tolerance.
Bob Jonas March 02, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Tina, good addition to this conversation
Joe Halpin March 03, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Wow, some pretty intense comment strings on here; however, it is completely lacking the view of anyone from the “young” generation, as it was put. Well, I am sixteen years old and go to Lyons Township High School in LaGrange. As for the whole Lady Gaga conversation, She is an amazing artist who perpetuates an equally amazing message. The arguments that she promotes immoral values—through “crotch-shots” in videos or inappropriate lyrics or whatever—is utterly absurd. She stands for acceptance, tolerance, loving who you are, and not allowing anyone or anything to bring you down. On September 8, 2011, Jamey Rodemeyer, a fourteen year-old boy, took his own life because of bullying. On September 24, Lady Gaga performed at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, (http://bit.ly/ueFdAK) and spoke about bullying, did a whole tribute to Jamey. I ask you this: How many pop stars would do that? It shouldn’t matter what she wears or what she shows in her videos. Her music gave me the strength to deal with bullying and to accept many things about myself. You don’t have to be young to “get” Lady Gaga or see why she is so popular. It is not because of flashy outfits, catchy songs, or “sexual” videos. She is loved because she is brave and inspires others to be brave, accept who they are, and put an end to bullying. Hope this shed some light onto the topic from a new perspective.
Bob Jonas March 03, 2012 at 07:30 PM
@Joe - thanks for sharing. Good to hear from another point of few and well said.
Erin spinola March 05, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Joe- you may only be 16- but you are wise and well spoken! And you are 100% right!

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