Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) of Tennessee recently spoke out against a measure related to bullying, saying that kids -- who had committed suicide -- didn't do so because of bullying, but rather because they were not instilled with proper principles.
"We can’t continue to legislate everything," he said in his speech. "We’ve had some horrible things happen in America and in our state, and there’s children that have actually committed suicide, but I will submit to you today that they did not commit suicide because of somebody bullying them. They committed suicide because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self-esteem came from at home."
Faison continued, "Now, instead of sending children to the principal's audience, we're sending them to the criminal court...there's people in this room right here who, at one time in their life, were a bully. But you didn't grow up to be a bad person."
The Democratic Party of Tennesse responded: "What a disgrace. Now, of course a tall and burly Faison doesn’t see any problems with bullying, as he admitted, he was perfectly capable of defending himself or dishing out punishment as he saw fit. But many kids don’t have that ability. That is why laws like these need to be passed. It is unfortunate that some in the Republican Party have become the protectors of bullies. Of course, it is not terribly surprising, because as a legislative group they are nothing but bullies, disparaging and demeaning those without power in this country in order to build themselves up. So it is no wonder that they would see no big deal with the problems associated with childhood bullying in this country, and become the defenders of harassment."