A California mayor is dealing with the fallout after he said bullied kids should "grow a pair."
Speaking at a recent city council meeting, Porterville Mayor Cameron Hamilton had some rather shitty things to say about victims of bullying. During a discussion about an anti-bullying program created by students, Hamilton suggested that students do more to "stick up for them damn selves." Via the LA Times:
Hamilton's comments came after a city councilwoman on May 6 asked the City Council to support the program, which would establish off-campus safe zones citywide for teens who are being bullied after school.
"I mean, I am against bullying, but I am getting damn tired of it being used as a mantra for everything that ills the world when all most people have to do is a grow a pair and stick up for them damn selves," he said during the council meeting.
Grow a pair of what? she asked, feigning ignorance about the meaning of the statement. I have a nice basil plant blooming in my herb garden. Would two of those help prevent bullying? What if I had four? Maybe I could grow a whole bunch of them and just pass them out to local school children and personally save the world from bullying forever and ever! #HERO.
At least one councilwoman was having none of this bullshit. "It is hard to stand up and maybe grow a pair when you are maybe a 10-year-old little girl," said Virginia Gurrola, who introduced the program (and is also apparently fresh out of fucks to give when it comes to putting up with idiot mayors who say things like "grow a pair.")
Members of a local gay rights organization weren't too thrilled with Hamilton's statement either. According to ABC 23:
"My feelings were really hurt and I was, essentially shocked by the end of it," said Melissa McMurrey with Gay Porterville. "It kind of felt like a little bit of a witch hunt, even though that was not the initial intention, from my understanding, of the Safe Zone project." McMurrey thinks the comments showed opposition to support of the gay community. Some Safe Zone projects are designed primarily with gay students in mind.
So how has Hamilton reacted to the blowback from his statement?
He said he has read comments about his statement and "it appears that the majority of our country has decided to speak up and say they agree with my analogy and are fed up with the zero-tolerance policy of our public schools."
See? He's tackling this with earnest sensitivity and meaningful introspection, just like all politicians! Awesome.
Protestors against Hamilton's statements are planning to attend tonight's city council meeting and express their objections and concerns.
Image via City of Porterville