Santa may need a mediator to sort out this brouhaha, but there’s a professor at Long Island University who claims that the CBS holiday television classic “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” promotes bullying.
As reported by Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate KDKA (link here), Long Island University special education professor George Giuliani “says ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ promotes bullying.” He’s even written “a book about it called ‘No More Bullies on the North Pole.'”
According to the professor, “the message that Rudolph’s uniqueness must have a useful purpose for Rudolph to be accepted is the wrong message for our children.”
Psychologist Paul Friday, interviewed by KDKA, takes a different view:
I think the idea that you can take something as innocent and as nice as “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” and pull some kind of psychological or sociological pathology and place it on there – I think this guy has too much time on his hands.
Maybe I need a life
Okay, I’m actually going to dig deeper into this one.
To me, “Rudolph” is a great ANTI-bullying tale. The story makes us feel sorry for Rudolph, Hermey the Elf/Dentist, and all the denizens of the Island of Misfit Toys, and it teaches us that everyone brings something worthwhile to this world.
If you’re a little kid soaking it in, it teaches you about empathy and being accepting of differences and individual choices. Rudolph is ridiculed and ostracized because of a physical difference. Hermey is bullied by the senior elf because he’d rather be a dentist. The Misfit Toys are forgotten by Santa every year. But ultimately, the story ends in their acceptance.
And with that said, I’ll return to watching DVDs of “The Wire.” Have a holly jolly holiday, everyone!
Hat tip to John Smurda of Ohio Healthy Workplace Advocates for the KDKA piece!