At least with this voter.
Per the Utica Daily News, the Oneida Indian Nation has acknowledged sending the mailing that complains that Oneida County Sheriff Candidate Mr. Townsend voted "Against Protecting Students from Bullying and Harassment" not once -- but twice -- while he was Assemblyman.
Politically, the proponent of the mailing is seriously out of touch. Mr. Townsend's rejection of Assembly Bill A03661 is exactly the type of action that kept getting him re-elected time after time after time.
The law Mr. Townsend voted against is called the "Dignity for All Students Act" and supposedly would prevent bullying and harassment. The act defines several characteristics of students as being protected (race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, and sex); requires state regulations, school district policies, sensitivity training of school personnel, student curriculum in "tolerance" etc. in each grade K through 12, and minimum suspensions for student transgressors; would create an "incident reporting" system; and, of course, provide grants to school districts. The law may be well intended, BUT . . .
"You can't legislate morality."
Human behavior and interactions are very complex and every situation is unique. We already have the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and numerous statutes on the books that already inform us parents, students, and those who run our schools, of what is acceptable and not acceptable behavior. Adding twenty more pages of regulations will not improve the situation. Trying to regulate all activities in all situations with special rules is not only a futile exercise, but counter productive. It's like the "zero tolerance" ("zero brains" I call them) policies on "weapons" that require suspension of a kid who might innocently forget his cub scout jack knife in his pocket.
This law will not prevent bullying . . . but it WILL create a bureaucratic nightmare and a lot more spending.
Laws do not prevent bullying. Capable teachers and administrators do.
Administrators that need to cling to a rule book to enforce proper behavior frankly have no business running our schools.
Cheers to Mr. Townsend for rejecting another prescriptive, intrusive, "feel good," but ultimately ineffective, expensive and counterproductive law.
Meanwhile, OIN needs to stick to running its world class casino, golf courses, and other wonderful venues, and to stay out of politics . . . or it runs the risk of becoming another Barbra Streisand -- who should just shut up and sing.