Vigilantism

Apparently, according to some people, your child acting in self defense by punching a bully would count as “vigilantism” and would therefore be bad.  I saw the link at Murdoc’s, and I didn’t believe it until I actually read the entire thing.

The good stuff in the comments to the thread at Dean’s Place – where a commenter named Naftali (which humorously is a Hebrew name for “struggling” or “one who struggles”) is saying that it’s an act of vigilantism when your child defends themselves from a bully, or if a woman is groped on a train and she smacks the person doing the groping.

It’s too bad for Naftali that there is a pretty widely accepted definition of vigilantism, which doesn’t including acting in the preservation of one’s person.  For example, let’s look at the situation of being groped on the train: in that moment when the offender makes contact, you have no idea what their intentions are.  There is no way to differentiate the touch of someone who just wants to cop a feel from the touch of someone who wants to harm you – but don’t do anything about it, because if you fight back it’s vigilantism and that’s bad.

Don’t even get me started on the part about kids fighting back against bullies – the current school policies against self-defense (which often punish the victim for defending themselves equally if not more harshly than the aggressor) are a big reason why I’m seriously considering homeschooling my children.

2 thoughts on “Vigilantism”

  1. Don’t even get me started on the part about kids fighting back against bullies – the current school policies against self-defense (which often punish the victim for defending themselves equally if not more harshly than the aggressor) are a big reason why I’m seriously considering homeschooling my children.

    Due to all the insane policies, my wife and I have already agreed to do all we can to homeschool our kids.

  2. I think I’ve mentioned before that we homeschool our kids. “Protecting” them from bullies isn’t one of our reasons for choosing to do so, but, as you say, the current atmosphere where someone acting in self-defense is punished for acting violently (and possibly accused of “vigilantism,”) is a symptom of the society that makes homeschooling worth the effort.

    Thanks for the link!

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