Lansing Bullies…


 Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press, October 22,  2011

In an earlier version of this comic one of the shouts coming out of the capitol building in panel one was: “Your job is to shut up and take standardized tests!” I liked it because it seemed to distill the basic attitude of Republican legislators toward students. (And to be equally unfair, if it were a Democrat legislator it would have been: “Your job is to shut up!” That’s it. Because the Democrats never seem to be organized enough to have an agenda.)

In any case, it was too wordy, so I likely would have dropped it anyway. But for a while I tried to couple it with what the Republican legislators thought their job is. In other words, “Our job is to <something>, your job is to shut up and take standardized tests!” But for the life of me I couldn’t come up with what that <something> was. I mean, if you are so philosophically against the government having any sort of role in improving the lives of its citizens that you can’t pass anti-bullying legislation, what exactly do you think your job as a government official is?

Fortunately, my school district, Grandville, and several others in West Michigan have been proactive in establishing mental health awareness programs, and the results have been nothing but positive. Grandville has been blessed to have Christy Buck (that’s her in panel two) and the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan behind these efforts. A recent article in the Grand Rapids Press summarizes this nicely: Classroom lessons in mental health could save young lives.

Students in other Michigan school districts should be equally as blessed. What do you say GOP legislators? Are you ready to step up?


  1. Tyler said,

    October 25, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

    How about: “make government small enough so we can drown it in a bathtub.” – G.N.

    I don’t understand how you can run for office on a platform of “It’s broke, let’s not fix it, let’s shut ‘er down!”. Sure government needs to be fixed (cut waste, etc), but the police chief doesn’t say, “the police department is overbudget and has corrupt officers, We could try and fix it, but that would be hard work. So we’re just going to shut ‘her down!”

    Actually I have a new suggestion: “shut ‘her down!”

  2. Tyler said,

    October 25, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

    Sounds like a great program. Every school should have an educational programs like the one from the article. Too bad your legislators don’t agree.

    That being said, the argument I hear is something like this is up to the local area to take care of, pay, etc. For areas that can afford it that makes sense. But for those areas that can’t afford it…

    Trade-offscompromisewhatever you want to call it. Seems to be lacking in a lot of folks these days…(generalization of course).

  3. John said,

    October 30, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    Yeah, I don’t know when compromise became a dirty word. But that’s the thing — establishing some state guidelines for mental health awareness really doesn’t have to be a compromise. What gets compromised when you’re simply promoting something that is well defined and clearly beneficial?

    Onward, Tyler! You and I shall move onward!

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