‘The assumption of these reports is that the election of Donald Trump stimulated an increase in bullying behavior…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) It’s a foregone conclusion that extreme liberal bias has not only infiltrated but taken over at many academic institutions.
Although college campuses have long been regarded as radical indoctrination centers, the effect is now trickling down to the nation’s primary and secondary schools. One source is the ludicrous education-school programs, typically required for teacher certification, that have given way almost entirely to promoting a progressive agenda and liberal pedagogical philosophy.
Case in point would be two educational “researchers” at the University of Virginia and University of Missouri who recently made it their mission to prove that the mean bully President Donald Trump, with his always one-sided—never reciprocated—rhetoric, was actively harming children while their deplorable parents were too busy reading the Daily Stormer to notice.
In a statistical study published this week in the American Educational Research Association‘s journal Educational Researcher, U.Va.’s Dewey G. Cornell and Missou’s Francis L. Huang analyzed school climate reports from 155,000 seventh- and eighth-grade students in Virginia over the years 2013, 2015 and 2017.
They wasted no time getting at their true purpose in looking at the data: “The assumption of these reports is that the election of Donald Trump stimulated an increase in bullying behavior.”
An Unjust Justification
Shockingly (or perhaps not), the researchers cited numerous other studies, including dispatches from notoriously partisan leftist groups like the National Education Association and the Southern Poverty Law Center, that also fixated on the same premise: Not only is Trump a bully, they aimed to prove, but his uncultured, uneducated supporters were aping his every move.
“[I]t seems likely that persons who share the president’s views and supported his election would be most likely to echo his statements and attitudes in their own behavior,” said the authors, without providing justification for this assumption.
They went on to mention Nazis and Russians—clearly the two most prevalent influences on Trumpist thought, because all their academic friends agree it’s so—and reached the conclusion that if the middle-schoolers in Trump-supporting districts were not themselves unrepentant racist bigots, gay-bashers and wife-beaters just yet, then certainly their parents must at least be. “It is plausible that some of these efforts affected adolescents or adults who had influence on adolescents, especially their parents.”
After the exercise in scholarly onanism that was their research justification, the pair finally got into the methodology. Their research was based on surveys of 100 questions on school climate that nearly all Virginia public school students (except for the ones in alternative programs) were compelled to complete—unless, at the discretion of the school, they decided they would rather select a sampling of students.
Their research went in two directions: first, could they use a district’s political leanings as a predictor for bullying; and second, could they observe any change in bullying levels in the data before and after the 2016 election.
They quickly concluded the obvious: that schools with whiter (i.e. more homogenized) and more rural populations—as well as those where parents had wisely avoided expensive university indoctrination centers and entered instead directly into the real world—tended to support Trump more.
There was a weaker correlation between affluence (measured by the number of students on the free-lunch program) and Republican support. However, the state’s (and also the country’s) wealthiest districts—including Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria—happen to be in the exurbs of Washington, D.C., where they are able to profit immensely from a large, centralized federal government, one of the key tenets of a Democratic platform. Thus, wealth in Northern Virginia is directly linked, via taxing and spending, to the influence of the Left.
I don’t care that most of the workers not getting paid are Democrats, I want to stop the Shutdown as soon as we are in agreement on Strong Border Security! I am in the White House ready to go, where are the Dems?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2019
Throughout their analysis, the researchers made reference to their “adjusted” rates, having weighted certain demographic factors to distort the picture of bullying prevalence. The aim seemed to be finding ways to drive down the prevalence in blue districts—many of which had a larger and more diverse population—by disproportionately factoring “Republican” qualities into their correlation coefficient.
Naturally, in most of the manipulated data points they found moderate correlations and increases in affirmative responses over time to support their preordained conclusion that Trump was turning kids into bullies.
However, they surprisingly saw a major drop between 2015 and 2017 in teasing about sexual topics, despite the fact that many on the Left have attacked Trump as a misogynist.
Overall, the number of students in red districts who said bullying was a problem remained exactly the same before and after the election. The researchers dismissed this as a statistical anomaly. “Those results do not necessarily contradict our findings. If prevalence rates increased in some localities but decreased in others, there might be no overall change.”
But they acknowledged that despite their statistical acrobatics in adjusting and torquing certain variables, their findings lent only “modest” support to their initial assertions.
Ultimately, they were able to contort the data to link students’ self-reported perceptions of identity-based bullying with a district’s political leanings. “Specifically, students reported a higher prevalence of being bullied and were more likely to report observing that their peers were teased or put down because of their race or ethnicity.”
Even so, the reasons and circumstances behind the bullying remained purely speculative. “These findings are correlational and cannot establish a causal relationship,” they noted.
Was it that there was a greater prevalence of bullying or simply more awareness and reporting of it?
As media reports clamored about what a bully Trump was and the #MeToo movement waged a full-fledged assault on masculinity, as classroom teachers and administrators continued to cultivate students’ entitled snowflake mindset and researchers continued to ask if they were totally sure bullying wasn’t a problem, might those have created a trickle-down hypersensitivity to their own grievances?
How might other mitigating factors, such as affluence and homogeneity, have impacted bullying perceptions while removing politics from the equation?
Despite the assumption—without evidence—that it is Republican kids doing the bullying in those red districts, could it be that, mirroring the overall U.S. society, those on the Left simply became more vicious when in the minority?
Of course, the study also fails substantially in addressing what bullying in predominantly blue districts may look like.
Will the researchers conduct a similar examination after the recent midterm elections on the bullying language used by liberal extremists like Rep. Rashida Tlaib, or the violent mob mentality of Antifa—or will those data points once again be “adjusted” in their next study?
And let’s not forget the soft prejudice that went unreported on the survey: the frequency with which conservative or pro-Trump students—although less likely to feel targeted over demographic factors—are systemically discriminated against and bullied for their beliefs by many teachers in both liberal and conservative districts.
What might a statistical examination of the Universities of Virginia and Missouri reveal about the research institutions’ tolerance of dissenting beliefs versus the prevalence of intellectual bullying?
The conclusion of the report is to enthusiastically express support for the racist, Eric Holder-initiated policy—euphemistically titled “positive behavior intervention”—of refusing to suspend minority students and penalizing schools with higher minority suspension rates, regardless of reason.
Many teachers struggled with the radical shift in school-discipline enforcement, which undermined authority, leaving them saddled with negative behaviors and disruptive students who interfered with the learning environment. Is it possible that this change in policy from the Obama era, forcing disruptive students to remain classrooms, may have had more to do with the rise in bullying than the ascendance of Trump to the presidency?
Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently announced she was ending the Holder rule and again empowering the schools—rather than the Justice Department—to use their discretion in how best to address localized discipline matters.
The publisher of the study—and of many academic journals—is SAGE Publishing, whose founders, George and Sara McCune, are equally known for the foundation where they shovel money into pet causes such as open borders.
But increasingly, those academic journals are now being questioned over their vetting and screening methods—with several having been forced to retract fake articles—not to mention their prejudices against research conclusions that might counter the liberal dogma.
As issues such as climate-change have continually revealed, flawed and biased researchers often use their own form of bullying to arrive at the so-called scientific consensus.
Numbers are easy to manipulate, and false conclusions based off of specious variables are a dime a dozen. Until the researchers themselves can be trusted to maintain scholarly integrity, such politically motivated efforts as these only harm perceptions of scientific and academic research.