April 25, 2012

A Tennessee State Rep finds a novel --some would say sickening-- approach to avoid creating a cyber-bullying law, by blaming the parents instead. Faison, who describes himself as "The Conservative", just embarrassed himself and the people of Cocke and Western Greene counties.

Faison later apologized for his "poor choice of words."

via The Tennessean:

State Rep. Jeremy Faison caused a stir Tuesday afternoon during a Tennessee House of Representatives debate over a cyberbullying bill, when he argued that it is a failure to instill proper values — not bullying — that leads children to commit suicide.

“We can’t continue to legislate everything. 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, R-Cosby, seemed to be alluding to the recent suicides in Cheatham and Smith counties by a pair of teens who had complained of being bullied over their sexual orientation. The two cases received extensive coverage statewide and led to calls by gay rights groups for tougher bullying laws.

The Tennessee Democratic Party condemned Faison’s statement within minutes.

“Did Rep. Faison just say that kids commit suicide because they haven’t been instilled with the right values? What a disgrace,” the party wrote on its Twitter feed.

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