fuckin boys always being so good and full of promise when they injure people and riot and shit
THIS IS TOTES NOT COMMENTARY ON THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE IS IT
Everyone who’s ever had “he’s a good kid” or some variation of that as their defense deserves to be taught a damn thing or two
The thing is, the sort of attitude shown in this strip isn’t helping the Lelands of the world, either. I’m not into punative measures of justice, but there are people who others bend over backwards to AVOID teaching them any sort of responsibility, and it doesn’t end well. See the ‘affluenza’ kid where the defense was basically he was so rich and his parents were so shitty at actually raising him he didn’t know not to drive drunk. Not only is that defense all sorts of bullshit, by the defense itself HIS PARENTS WERE NOT DOING THEIR JOB.
Ooooooh we could send Leland to Ms. Susan’s class that would take care of both the little bastard and his parents in one go.
I admittedly just Googled “Walkyverse Ms. Susan” with no clear results, is she from a Willis comic? or someplace else?
Miss Susan is from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.. She’s a primary teacher and nanny in the books as well as a duchess. Ands he’s also death’s granddaughter, which gives her certain gifts.
Try “Susan Sto Helit”. What is wrong with you people?
Not only did he not know to drive drunk. He didn’t know that shoplifting alcohol while underage and then driving drunk was bad and would have serious negative consequences and therefore he shouldn’t be liable for his actions.
It didn’t work..completely.
There’s something horribly wrong with the world when articles from the Onion end up coming true.
Well, were you expecting “poetic justice” like in Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” where two guys who raped a girl and cut off her hands and tongue so she won’t tell on them (spoiler: she still does) are punished by being served to their Gothic Queen mother (well, not exactly because she wasn’t doing her job) after turning them into pastry? Still, the victim in that play gets killed by her father since he does not care for a permanent reminder of “his” loss.
There is a lesson in that, and lots of pig blood flooding the stage.
I believe the lesson is: “Maybe Shakespeare would’ve benefited from some therapy?”
“…from Shakespeare’s brief Quentin Tarantino phase.”
Funny, when a kid beat me up at school, I got the opposite justification. “He has a troubled home and is going through a difficult time, so it’s really your fault that he broke your nose and gave you two black eyes after you splashed him.”
It’s not even a commentary on the current climate. He’s written ’em months in advance. It’s just the general failure to acknowledge that a white cis dude from a well-to-do family can be a shithead.
I mean, the current climate has been like this for a good bit longer than a few months, in fairness.
At least a few decades … or longer … by my count.
it’s been lurking in the shadows.
I think that Willis might be doing an homage to Dead Poet’s Society with this backstory. Asshole upper-crust private school administrators caring more about the reputation of their school among the rich “elite” than caring for the children in their charge, or teaching them any kind of responsibility, is an old trope. And it has been around for so long probably because it reflects the truth often enough.
Given the hints Willis has been dropping lately, I’d say Brock Turner is the main inspiration from this one, but there’s really no end to rich white guys getting slaps on the wrists for their crimes while the victims get victim blamed.
Exactly. I honestly think any outcome short of Marcie dying would have turned out like this. Very common.
Wow, really? I thought the parade of rich white guys getting slaps on the wrists ended when we reached the ones that don’t get slaps on the wrists.
…. yeah, I know, I could be giving a dose of sunshine, but it’s the midnight here. What do you expect?
What school ISN’T doing that
It’s not really a trope.
It’s absolutely a trope. Sometimes fiction reflects life, after all. I’m not sure if it’s on TV Tropes, but it’s definitely a trope. “Rich (or simply a “good”) boy gets away with bullying/(insert crime here) while the victim is punished” definitely happens quite a bit, both in fiction and, sadly, in life.
yeah, “current climate” means like the last two or three years, possibly longer
at this point it’s more like 10 years at the least.
If by “years” y’all mean “decades” or maybe “centuries” y’all might be getting closer to the truth. It’s been around at least since the first king’s first bratty son got his whipping boy.
The demographic that’s mainly responsible is dying out rapidly or that’s how long before Armageddon.
There is no “demographic that’s mainly responsible”. 20-year-olds are just as capable of perpetuating this nonsense as 50-year-olds, and frequently do (while patting ourselves on the back for being “the progressive generation”).
This has gone on forever. I live in Columbus and am sorry that Turner didn’t get put away for at least twenty years. Other than his family and out of touch rich friends, nobody here is happy he’s back. We all think justice was mocked.
By forever, I meant that history is a tale of the richest, the strongest, and the most powerful taking whatever they want and receiving no negative consequences. What’s happening now is not a recent phenomenon.
It’s also important not to forget that one’s ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, sexuality, immigrant status, physical well-being and mental capacity — don’t exempt one from being a horrible person. Because, SPOILERS: Those are all PEOPLE and PEOPLE often suck. We pick favourites and divide each other into little groups because we are dumb and immature and have to see the world through our little lenses where the bad SORT gets punished and the good SORT are all brave, beautiful struggling souls. We want to improve the world by swapping the consensus on who the BAD SORT are and who the GOOD SORT ought to be, never realising that the act of doing that in the first place makes us no worse than the bigots we condemn. No wonder the furries and otherkin want to ditch this species so bad.
Yes, why don’t you tell us more about how there are also bad minority folks, as if that somehow negated the fact that people in the majority get far more protection for their bad deeds.
Hoo boy, do I really wish these comments had a “like” option.
Seconded. Right on, Solarn.
By ‘minorities’ you mean black and hispanic people right? Because… that notion kind of falls apart once you look at literally any other minority in the states. They are definitely unjustly persecuted by the police and in poverty caused by white people, but their problems don’t stem from there being less of them but from toxic preconceptions. No one complains that asians earn far more money on average than white people.
That’s because they don’t. The kids of well-off chinese and korean immigrants do, but asians as a whole still get screwed.
I wouldn’t even say white and cis have a play here. I’m sure they do at some level, but people like this tend not to be able to see beyond “well-to-do family” and some strange idea that they might ingratiate themselves to said family and either inherit the wealth or save themselves a 1980s college movie of trouble.
Except that white is often a proxy for “well-to-do” – or more accurately the other way around – not-white implies poor.
Maybe Leland’s family is richer, but the Walkerton’s are pretty well off themselves, IIRC. And Billie’s family is even more so. We really know nothing about the relative wealth of Leland’s family.
Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the school’s catering to the only white kid involved in the incident, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Being seen as “normal” and “default” as opposed to the other represented by angry biracial girl Sal and “possibly illegal” Marcie absolutely plays into this. Don’t discount race just because of class, when race is often a determining factor in class status.
You can’t swing a dead cat without it being a commentary on the current political climate. The dark horrible political climate.
That kid is Brock Turner
Dumbing of Age: ADULTS RUIN EVERYTHING
Life: ADULTS RUIN EVERYTHING
Wait, I’m confused, I thought Adam Ruins Everything? *rimshot*
Hi, I’m Adam Conover and I’ve got a couple of things to share about the /real/ consequences of thinking shielding people from consequences will somehow make the world better in any way. This is, Adam Ruins Everything!
See at least Adam admits to ruining everything. He is honest about it.
It’s the people who claim 4 ways to Sunday that they are helping that you have to watch out for.
I identify with Adam on a spiritual level.
Adam is an adult is he not?
But kids would run things right
Humans ruin everything.
Fuck this shit, don’t punish the bully, play it off on the victim
And then people are surprised when the their senator makes comments using the phrase “legitimate rape”.
Who is the victim here? Marcie clearly crossed a boundary here. He was merely defending his school premises against the incursion of illegals. Leland should build a fence around the school and let Marcie pay for it. Presidential material, that.
The school should pay for it, because they’re the ones who would end up owning the fence. Otherwise, sure. I love this plan. Give Leland about three hundred hours of community service building the fence.
(Yes I know you were being something adjacent to sarcasm and/or parody and I’m not missing the point, just playing with the idea some.)
Well, though I’m all for letting Marcie in, a fence between the playground and the ditch filled with construction rubble wouldn’t be a bad thing.
And I approve of Leland building it – or at least doing some of the helping, elementary school kids doing construction work isn’t really a great plan.
It’s called dumbing of age. The adults (well, parental-generation adults – all of the characters are adults in the present day) have more age, therefore they do more dumbing.
No, fuckin’ Marcie. Don’t you listen?
No. I look and I read. I find it the easiest way to consume this particular medium.
to be fair if the adult actually did what they should have or raised him better he might not be like that.
that being said he is like that so smack him upside the head and tell him to stop being a bongo
Because corporal punishment ALWAYS makes kids moral!
Seriously, isn’t there research being done on how to reform bullies? There’s got to be a solution more sophisticated than just targeting them with vitriol, right? I’m not saying they don’t deserve scorn and censure, but does that actually lead to them no longer being bullies?
Corral punishment is actually legal in most states, they just don’t do it.
Legality doesn’t shield them from liability for injury, including psychological injury, nor the costs of mounting a legal defense. The fact that we socially don’t any longer consider it appropriate for anyone but a child’s parents to use corporal punishment on that child suggests it would be exceptionally difficult to get a jurry to not award for plaintiff. Hence, corporal punishment doesn’t get used because schools don’t want to face and/or couldn’t afford lawsuits.
YES. Operant conditioning is a powerful teacher, just like fear.
It would be NICE if he didn’t want to beat others with impunity, but it is NECESSARY that he stop.
But…but Leland is so full of promise!…..Promise most likely meaning money his family donates to the school.
Or maybe he’s really good at swimming… We might never know if we punish him now! I’m sure letting this behavior slide will have no negative consequences whatsoever.
I just think it’s money because the voice specifically said there’s so much “at risk”. Like what could that mean besides money?
I figured as much. Just thought I could also throw in some scalding social commentary of relevant recent events
Nononono. “Promise” is indicative of future potential. It clearly indicates money that his family WILL donate to the school.
Also, what is Marcie’s ethnicity? It’s not explicitly established is it?
Her last name is “Diaz.”
Her last name is Diaz.
I think it has been established she is Latina or Hispanic (or both), beyond that I don’t know.
It’s been explicitly established twice in, what, the last week? Including literally this comic.
Where in this comic is it established? I mean I can tell they’re heavily implying she’s not white with the “illegal” talk but beyond that it’s all going over my head.
There is no other group of people who are so readily assumed to be ‘illegals’ in the USA. Plus, last name is diaz, like everyone said.
Yep, illegal always means “Them Mexicans.” That nice O’Malley kid with the cute Irish accent? There’s no way he’s working in that grocery store with a fake green card. Or Tammy Johnson, that Canadian lady who works at the corner Starbucks. She didn’t overstay her student visa to shack up with her boyfriend and work a couple of part time jobs.
Any resemblance in names to DoA characters in the above post is mere coincidence.
Uhh, pardon my ignorance, but can you explain where it’s been explicitly established? Both in this comic and the other time you refer to in the last week or so?
Talking about her parents getting deported combined with the ‘illegal’ mention here heavily implies Marcie is latina, although it doesn’t give a more specific ethnicity such as country of ancestry. It’s a very American thing, but when people talk about illegals they specifically mean latinos crossing over from Cuba or Mexico.
Literally went back one week and found this. http://www.dumbingofage.com/2016/comic/book-6/04-it-all-returns/cadet/
The DeSantos have been established as Hispanic, Sal straight out says that no matter what the last name implies (Hispanic/Latino heritage) that she will deport Marcie’s parents (which happens if you are in the country without a proper visa and mostly to people of again Hispanic/Latino backgrounds)
Not all the readers are from the States. We might have grasped that Marcie’s parents might be of a race suspected to be illegal, but it doesn’t mean we know right from a glance she’s Hispanic/Latino. In addition, her last name hasn’t been stated in-comic, so people who didn’t go through the cast pages wouldn’t know of it.
The States are kinda infamous for our border practices…. I have many international friends who know enough of the situation. I was more frustrated at the fact that someone wasn’t willing to go back through a handful of comics to find the example.
Also, instead of ” race suspected to be illegal” may I suggest “Marcie’s parents may be undocumented”. One is dehumanizing language, and even setting aside the massive issues with race the States has (which is impossible) being Hispanic or Latino isn’t illegal, it just happens to be that the largest population of undocumented inhabitants are Hispanic and Latino.
Yes, you’re right. HOWEVER, I have a hard time believing someone would assume a non-latino kid was undocumented just because they didn’t go to a specific school, which is why this strip basically cements Marcie as latina. Our border practices can get fucked up all-around, but the scaremongering about undocumented immigrants specifically targets latinos, even though that’s a stereotype.
Well, it’s possible it’s the only local school, so it would be surprising any kid didn’t go there. OTOH, undocumented children do have the right to go to public school and regularly do so.
But yeah, no one would even be speculating Joyce was illegal because she didn’t go to the local elementary school, just to pick a random example.
Yeah, it’s pretty obvious to me, too, but people who aren’t American or are otherwise unaware of the sort of racism targeted at latinos in the USA combined with racist immigration rhetoric might not find it so obvious.
Meanwhile, I’m reading many of these “OMG are you not aware of racism against Latinos??” and wondering if y’all are ignorant of the prevalence of racism against Middle Easterners. (It’s also funny that even though you have no way of knowing my ethnicity, I’m being accused of not being American. Complete coincidence, I’m sure, but it made me laugh.) Anyway, by definition, both examples given are implicit not explicit, and I guess it depends on your cultural viewpoint which groups you feel like ignoring in what they’re implying.
Uh. I’m very aware of the racism against middle eastern people, but I haven’t seen it couched in terms of ‘undocumented immigration’, more of ‘OMG WE AREN’T SCREENING WELL ENOUGH’. Am I ignorant in that? Have there been a turn in the racist rhetoric that I haven’t seen? I’m honestly curious, because while both groups are subject to racism in the USA, the racism tends to come into distinct flavors, with some crossover based on people assuming someone is [x] when they’re really [y] just based on looks.
Like I’m hardly an Expert in Racism, but it feels kind of rude for you to assume that I’m ignoring middle eastern people/don’t think people are racist towards them, just because I feel like the specific flavors of racism Marcie gets target with implies people at least think she’s latina, whether or not she actually is.
It’s definitely pretty striking. It’s because of the fact that I’m aware there’s racism against all sorts of races which is why I asked for clarification in the first place.
People going ‘what it’s obvious, can’t you tell?’ are being just a bit sanctimonious about it.
Fair enough. It’s definitely a bit ambigious at this point just by going off of what’s in comic, which is why I said it’s implied Marcie is latina rather than going ‘Marcie is definitely latina’.
Wait, sorry to triple-reply, but are you accusing me of accusing you of not being American? I worded my response up there that way because I KNOW there are non-American readers who might miss the implication of that tiny ‘illegal’ in there. I assumed nothing about your nationality or ethnicity.
If Marcie were Middle Eastern the word “illegal” would have been replaced with “terrorist” and “deport your parents” would have been replaced with “ship your family to Gitmo”.
I always thought the DeSantos were of Italian descent. I don’t know why, I just thought they were.
(I haven’t been reading the Walkyverse for forever, I mostly ignored Shortpacked and only started following DoA when it launched.)
prairiehamster: “I checked the Wiki to see if Marcie’s last name had been given to use as a clue but no go. Is she some flavour of Latina? She just kinda looks like she is and that would be neat.”
DMW: “She is. I think her last name is Diaz? I think. I know I decided on it at some point, but… um… I think it was something like that. OKAY FINE IT’S DIAZ.”
Haha! This is depressing.
Shit, Sal, fuck that person up too.
Doing it now would just result in further trouble. Mysterious office fire two years after she changes schools might be harder to connect her to.
This… Hapens in real life?
You have the motherfucking BALLS to ask if this “happens in real life” TODAY. Today of all motherfucking days.
Angry Willis makes me so giddy!
There’s also David Becker, who raped TWO women and recently got probation, so he can go to college
Also, googling “rapist gets probation” is really goddamn depressing
Easy there, boss. I don’t think Swizzermon was on Brock Turner’s parole board. His choice of user name implies he’s still quite young. Not everybody was as worldly, street smart, and fully woke as you were back in your teens.
Youth is really not an excuse for not being aware of injustice, broseph.
No, but that was an awesome burn on Willis.
Everyone is unaware until they aren’t anymore. Everyone has to hear of events for the first time from somewhere. There’s no need to be upset with a person for daring to learn something where we can see them doing it.
Nor is there any reason to imply that they don’t need to have learned.
Or to tone police us when someone says something ignorant, because they just didn’t know yet.
This is how they learn.
Amwrica isn’t the center of the universe, church boy.
Do you actually live under a rock? Because half the people I’ve discussed this whole bullshit saga with aren’t American. It’s internet-infamous at this point.
I can personally say that the only reason as why I heard about it is because I am on 9gag, and 90% of people in there is either, transphobic, homophobic, sexist or racist so I wouldn’t expect most people in here moving in those circles. And I move plenty on the English site of the internet even, it just haven’t been something that was brought up.
It is on the English internet, which is why you’ve gone way down in the polls for speaking the rest of us with your shitty overblown circus of an ‘election’ that most of you don’t even participate in
and here I’d expect you to be grateful for any respite from having to hear of the omnishambles* that the Brexit referendum and the utter failure of those you elected to, y’know, actually lead. :p
(* a fine British word, or so I am informed)
Okay, I get the outrage, I really do, but with respect…
Don’t get me wrong, the link is good. The anger itself is good. But maybe misdirected. Maybe I’m missing something, maybe I’m way too optimistic about the people of the Internet, but if the commenter legitimately didn’t know, here’s a chance to educate. And hopefully inspire people to keep themselves more educated about world events. Hell, I hadn’t heard about him getting out until reading these comments (though I did know about Shitstain McPrivilege in the first place, I’m not THAT out of the loop).
Two years ago, I’d have had the same reaction. Probably angrier, honestly. My perspective has changed a bit since I found this comic, I think for the better. Hopefully some other people feel the same.
I think it’s just a tired old conversation for him.
Every time the comic portrays some injustice you get a bunch of people saying “This is just like something that happened to me” and a few people of usually dubious intent getting skeptical about whether this sort of thing happens in real life.
This may have been one of the more innocuous examples, but he’s just got a short fuse for this stuff at this point.
Yeah, that’s totally fair… And I can see the reasoning behind picking this particular comment to vent at, too. He’s put a lot of effort into keeping this website a safe space. So a comment like this comes up (i.e. more or less inoffensive, no triggers, but still raising red flags), he can let that through without really compromising that space and still be relatively justified in voicing the anger that isn’t necessarily directed at that specific comment (at least, this is my interpretation; I don’t claim to have any better insight than anyone else here). And let’s face it, he’s not at all wrong; this IS a bad day to ask that question, and even if it weren’t, we do need to call people out for this naïveté, or what some might even call flat-out ignorance.
Hey, not everyone follows American news.
And it’s such a good thing that this is the first such incident to occur anywhere in the world, and there is literally no other situation where it could also apply.
Oh you sweet summer child…
ive had people call me that and other things once when i didn’t realize something was nsfw adult versions of teen titans. does that mean you are oblivious or that you are innocent to the way of the world or what?
Mostly the second one, but can be used for the first.
It means you are ignorant, blissfully or innocently, to the reality.
And that Winter is coming.
well yeah in a few months. its autumn now so its the logical seasonal rotation.
you’d think so…..
You see, it comes from Game of Thrones (or perhaps the books), where the seasons are RIDICULOUS and COMPLETELY INSANE. Sometimes, summer lasts for decades, them winter hits them hard, other times, the seasons are incredibly short. I got that from simple pop culture osmosis.
To elaborate, the Sweet Summer Child has grown up in a time of relative comfort, and doesn’t understand what harshness the world has in store for them when Winter inevitably comes.
Maybe GoT takes place in the ice age?
Seasons were way more extreme back then
The author of that series has said that the reason for irregular seasons is magic. (That will be discussed sometime before the end of the series)
It’s not extreme seasons, it’s seasons that don’t follow the year – that, in fact, last several years each (long ones, like the summer that is going on as the books open, for decades). It’s how being a ‘summer child’ can actually be a thing.
Actually the Pleistocene * Ice Ages had long mild Interglacial periods.
The period following it, our Holocene, is only about as long an Interglacial.
( i think 40,000. Nope Wikipedia says 12,000 yrs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene )
Last I read, the Theory on recent Ice Age cycles , was there is a period of alignment in the Earth Intercession of the seasons. Where the Earths long slow wobble combines ( Prcession ) with a greatest distance of revolution , and greatest angle from the sun, to make the risk much higher of Kicking the climate back into a new Ice age. This is called Snowball Earth solution for climate equations. Its a strange attractor or semi-stable self-perpetuating climate system.
YUP explained very well here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interglacial#Interglacials_during_the_Pleistocene
Until we rapidly dumped hundreds millions of years of Carbon back into the atmosphere, the idea that we *weren’t still* in the Pleistocene , was still arbitrary.
*My Geology is out of Date. They’ve recently renamed and re-dated these periods. If I made a significant error and any kids want to correct me , Please Correct me! I love science more than I need to be right.
Absolutely. Have you never heard of the Affluenza kid? Among much other stuff.
the white ignorance is real with you
Ooooooor the poster is from a country where such things aren’t really shown in the news very often.
Example: I’m from Mexico. The Affluenza kid didn’t show up in the news here until he was found in hiding down here. He was in the news until he got his ass sent back to the US, then was never mentioned again.
There are similar cases to the Affluenza kid here, but they’re the children of powerful people who feel that are untouchable and usually are because their parents are rich and powerful.
I guess I’m playing devil’s advocate here. I can see someone not knowing about it. (I know because I follow US news sources and most of my friends are from there.)
This. Willis is such a typical amerifat right now.
… I don’t think that’s the case. Willis has had his fair share of trolls and stupid people pop up in the comments, some truly murderous rage-inducing ones, too – I just don’t think that’s the case here.
I don’t blame him for going “how could you not know about it?”, that would be almost anyone’s first reaction too.
I had asked a similar question to myself but it mostly related to the age of the people involved. See in Canada, there’s a minimum offender limit. So 12 and under you’re not talking about ruining someone’s life with some sort of trial or record, but rather putting them in mandatory mental help, anger management, and other stuff like that to maybe make sure they don’t become weird monsters. It’s also a bit less litigious here.
So for me, the comic read fine for like high school or middle school level where the stakes are like that, but for elementary (which I think this is?) it seemed really off. Then I checked the minimum age for young offenders in America and found it’s state by state and that Indiana has none. Makes a lot more sense that way. (I’m sure stuff like that does happen in Canada as well but at the very least the max punishment is on a way smaller scale, relatively). Also I wasn’t sure if the school was public or private, but I was leaning towards public with how unkempt the edges of the grounds were in the last strip.
I dunno what sense Swizzermon meant it in, but it could’ve been somewhat genuine. I find I have a much better time just looking up stuff on my own rather than risk annoying someone here.
I deeply doubt anyone was even considering putting this kid on trial. From the principal’s phrasing I think they’re just afraid if he’s formally disciplined his parents will sue the school or get the principle fired or something.
(I can see why some people might be sheltered enough to imagine this doesn’t happen. It is pretty goddamn ludicrous when you put it out there plainly.)
It could also just be the principal or whatever not wanting to do his actual goddamn job.
That’s what happened (not to me) back in my school days.
What adult people* reading this comic could be that sheltered?
I literally cant imagine. Bullying and its tolerance, has been a major Issue ( like gun control ) since Columbine.
I have to imagine children growing up in some Luddite Idyllic religious cult which bans modern access mass news , and has a zero tolerance policy toward bullying combined a rural low population.
( Star Trek Insurrection? )
* who have electricity , have fill internet Access
( maybe have access to normal news, or TV or radio. )
*sets up a trollbait quarantine zone around this comment*
I just saw the other comment. “Churchboy?” Really. 😡
“Amerifat” is another safe indicator of “this person just wants to rile people up.”
This is the same person who, just a few days ago, was calling people ignorant for not knowing the ins and outs of gun safety protocol. (American gun safety protocol.)
I think it’s safe to say that after the stream of childish insults, this person is not here to discuss the strip in good faith.
Incredible. This is what I miss when I have to open and miss reading the comments here.
2/10 weakest troll this week. Try harder kid.
i was replying to op asking if this kinda thing happens in real life, you can live anywhere on the god damn planet and know bullies will always. always. get off scott free. esp when its white boy vs. non white girl bullying, i live outside the states idk who this afluenza kid is never heard of ’em before but ive lived this shit so hearing or rather reading “does this happen in real life” makes me wanna scream. something like 7% of all rapists are actually prosecuted most murders happen from cops who never get any form of punishment, ofc this shit and worse happens in real life and to not know that requires some kinda ignorance, either ops some white popular chick growin up or a white boy, or extremely priviliged in some other way.
Yes, yes it does. especially in private schools.
I know exactly how you feel. When you realize something so horrible that you never imagined it actually happens in real life. There’s this feeling of disbelief. How can the world really be this way? I fully remember thinking a lot of these things were just like the cartoonish villains on TV, simplified to make things easier. It’s not.
I don’t see you actually arguing that it didn’t happen, just expressing surprise.
Yeah, this happens. It happens all the time, even without the racial component. Bullies with “good families” get things hushed up, and the person reporting it is the troublemaker.
You might not understand why Willis brought up rapist Brock Turner. The situations are quite different. But there is one commonality–the bending over backwards of people in authority to protect the actual bad guy.
In a certain way, this situation is actually worse. Sure, rape is worse than what happened to Marcie, no question. But at least rapist Brock Turner’s case is public. And the school didn’t try to cover it up. The people who reported it weren’t blamed, and they weren’t directly attacking the victim.
Leland will basically not face any consequences. Rapist Brock Turner and Enabler Judge Aaron Persky at least face social consequences.
:|. This was a of comments. Ummm, it was like the middle of the night. and I was just reading the new strip. I guess I was just surprised that not only did this happen, it happened really quickly and bluntly. I’m not sure exactly which comments are directed at me but to answer some: this username has been mine for 11 years; I am 20 years old. I don’t live in america so I wasn’t aware of that news. I’m also not white? Well I am, I’m also black. Kinda like Walky and Sal actually.
Thank Trlkly for seeing my comment as what it was, expressing surprise.
I’m sorry I offended anyone? Especially you Willis?
If that sweet summer child comment was at me… I don’t appreciate it.
Hey, it’s cool. Don’t worry. I guess most of us are nervous and on edge because of all the stuff that’s been happening lately.
I was there too, if it helps. Though it was a little more saddened that it does happen. And I think I’ve been actively avoiding stuff like that, tends to be a bit overwhelming.
Man I know that feeling too well Sal.
yup schools have politics. i still remember kicking a kid who tried to pull me off a climbing wall thing in middle school.
i admitted to it. my friend who was on the wall too said i did it. the guy i kicked said i did it. his friends said i did it.
my friend got a week of detention likely because i was in the band which was a big deal in my school. the guy i kicked was a football player and my friend was poor and did no extra stuff.
At mine, some girls would stay inside at recess by hiding in the bathroom, which was against the rules. Funnily, some of my friends and I were picked up outside after using the bathroom normally pretty often one year, yet the PTA’s kids who would actually be in there with toys or whatever out, never seemed to get caught.
Oh, I also got one that isn’t any sort of corrupt, just weird. Once we were in grade three or so, we would get scolded a bit if we wanted to use the washroom right after lunch, because we should have done it when we were on break.
Conversely, the kindergarten teacher (who had taught all of us (small school, few transfers) when we were little, and thus had a sort of parental authority about him) would prowl the halls at lunch, and make us go back outside if he saw us come in, even to use the bathroom.
It resolved eventually but it went on for a long time, I guess the teachers never spoke to each other and also didn’t believe us, or something.
this is a more minor one for me as well but once i got detention for reading a book in class instead of doing the extra credit assignment we were given. i asked if it was graded when they told me to stop reading. they said it was extra credit and i said id rather read my book.
That’s very me. I was very ‘good’ so I did whatever assignments I got usually, but I’d get in trouble for reading anyway. Bullshit reasons like that it’s disrespectful or distracting to others (‘distracting’ is such a commonly used bad justification. Dress code, reading, doodling, gum (there are real reasons for no gum, but I’ve heard distracting cited on its own))
Guess I was lucky. In what amounts to high school, I got a new math teacher. Two weeks later he took me aside on the school yard and told me that he’s heard enough to grade me on and I was to no longer work on the tasks given to the class and particularly not to give notice when I am done and demoralize everybody else. He didn’t care what I spent my time with in his class as long as I did not disrupt it by active participation.
Talk about a different approach to that of your teacher.
In middle school in Ohio, I got in trouble for reading a paperback during the “Reading” unit of English/Grammar/Reading Class. See, we had these little curriculum approved packets of Knowledge (SROs), but we were only allowed to complete a few every day. I was at the limit, and so I pulled out a book from the School Library and started reading. The teacher flipped out and sent me to the office, where the principal called my parents in. My parents were told that I should have just sat quietly at my desk for the rest of the hour. My mom and dad then yelled at the teacher for an hour, asking her to explain WTF.
In the end, the teacher decided that I didn’t have to abide by the limit, and could complete as many packets as I could read. After two more weeks, I learned to hide the paperback in my desk as I sat quietly, having finished the entire box of SROs.
I never got out of trouble for the times I read ahead, but I learned to be more subtle about it, and about reading other things.
(I mean honestly, the Snow Goose is only like 60 pages. how were we supposed to not finish it?)
When I was in high school, some teachers got really pissy with you if they saw a student going to the library on their lunch hour. I didn’t really believe it until I starting going there every day and someone actually stopped their class to come out and demand that I get off “her” floor & go back to lunch.
I just took another route, but it always weirded me out that a teacher would be against such a benign activity.
Why am I reminded of that Shortpacked TMI strip with Hermione?
Okay, I know I’m despised.
TNI, not TMI. Despised and damned.
“Good family. Very promising future.”
Leland must be one of those kids whose parents are rich and buy the teachers/principals.
huh you would expect the rich ones to go to private school though and if thats the case why was their playground so poorly maintained.,
Not always. A lot of times it’s not available locally (and not all parents want to send their kids to boarding school), or the parents want the kids to do what they did, or they might want to be prominent in the neighbourhood, or they might approve more of Leland being around poor kids he knows he’s better than than new rich, or they could be wealthy but not very active spenders (or well off but non wealthy, yet very influential), or they could be a political family…
There’s also old family. Someone who’s not necessarily rich, but they’re granddad was the mayor some decades back, their uncle owns a store in the community, their last name is on several buildings and a street.
My own last name used to be on the local DFW. A distant cousin who died long before I was born, but still. (One of those cases where the building was named for the first local casualty in the most recent war. The building has since been renamed.)
My great-great?-grandfather was once postmaster for the local town. I have family, and friends of family laced throughout the community, and go to church with the president of the local junior college, two judges, and a state representative (possibly two).
My family’s been in the area for well over 100 years.
I could possibly get away with murder, or at least avoid capital punishment, based on my connections.
I don’t think there’s a street named for us, but I could be wrong.
This is sort of what I meant by influential (or one thing I meant by it), but in way better words.
Even if it is a private school, they have no control of the land just outside their borders, and some of the less well-off ones aren’t known for monitoring their “pending construction” very well. The lower school of the private school I went to had a pretty big ditch next to its playing fields, and no fence (I think, I never actually went to that part and due to being built in the middle of a city the lower school was across town form the middle and upper)
I don’t think they even really buy the teachers/principals. They just have enough money to hire lawyers (or are lawyers themselves) to make the school realize they could be dragged to court if their flawless offspring isn’t treated with respect.
“treated with respect” in this case being doublespeak for completely looking the other way.
Or no more tuition money.
My high school valedictorian’s parents paid off the principal to get her out of trouble for drinking at prom (which would have invalidated her from being valedictorian). So no, they do sometimes buy of school administrators to get what they want.
I konw the type. Studied with some at the grades you USA people call Middle school. My High School life was in a school run by a very good congregation of sisters/nuns so this bullshit didn’t happen.
Or just white (while the other kids involved were mixed-race white/asian, white/black, or latina).
Uuuuugh, this makes me so mad. Are they just banking on Marcie’s family being illegal immigrants who can’t afford to kick up a fuss? Because they might be right in this case, but that’s a pretty chancy gamble on the part of the school.
And how is just letting Leland off scott-free doing anything good for him, either? Little prick or not, actively avoiding any attempts to teach a kid responsibility just because his parents are important and probably fussy doesn’t do anything good for HIM, either.
as i have been told many times. it’s not what you know its who you know.
I mean, as well as leaving him with no clue what to do as an adult (although it probably won’t matter, families like that tend to just keep providing, especially if they’re money), they’re definitely setting him up to get smacked down by someone, whether or not it’s Sal (although she’ll probably be the first to volunteer)
Yeah. :/ They’re screwing over at least three kids with this sort of ‘administration’, as well as any future people Leland targets because he’s been taught by example that he can get away with it.
This might come as a shock, but some schools aren’t actually looking out for the kids.
I mean, they’re helping teach him that he can get away with things as far as authority figures and societal systems are concerned. Based on what’s said in comic, that’s likely something he’s going to carry with him into his adult life. This is a well delivered lesson that will help prepare him for the adult world.
Gah! School administration can be such a pain. It really sucks since it’s supposed to be their job to help kids.
I kinda want to punch in the face whoever it is who is talking right now.
We learn many important things in school.
Like “‘Justice’ is a lie.”
and the eyes of society usually see what they want instead of what is true.
And that some people try to see other people as just a bunch of numbers so they can justify using them to satisfy their greed.
and while not quite applicable here.
people see themself by what their intentions and others by their results.
I bet the teachers see themselves as protecting the school while sal sees them as belittling and pushing away her friend
and both of them are right in a sense.
I unfortunately learned that lesson at a very young age. Still have not been persuaded away from it.
To quote a wise, ancient skeleton (and, by proxy, a wise author): “There is no Justice. There is just us.” Death, in Terry Pratchett’s Reaper Man. (Alas, I cannot do the Smallcaps text)
And, “People will try to hurt you because they enjoy the feeling of dominance it gives them, so just avoid people, because people suck.”
I wouldn’t say “justice is a lie.” I’d say “justice isn’t a given.” You learn that the idea of a just world is a fallacy.
Though I admit I learned more about that online than I ever did in school. I made it through school thinking everyone was essentially good. I’ve always been a big (white, straight) dude, so no one ever messed with me. There might have been comments behind my back, but they were nice to my face. (How much “Southern hospitality” played into that, I don’t know.)
In short, I was privileged. It took the Internet to where people weren’t afraid to say things.
Sure blame the victim and let that little creep off with a slap on the wrist.
True to life. The people who enable the bullies are far bigger a problem than the bullies themselves.
That said…..Who else thinks Leland and the punk who tried to rape Joyce are the same guy?
Very few people, because the guy who attempted to rape Joyce is named Ryan.
and willis bluntly said they arent the same person.
That answers that.
I went digging to see if I could spot Leland at the convenience store. No luck. It was a nice theory until I did an archive dive.
Of course the ONLY people we see at the convenience store are, Amber, Ethan, Sal, and Amber’s ..sperm donor. We never see the face of the clerk. We never know who owns the store.
Man that almost sounds like Amber got pregnant. Wording!
I didn’t want to call the thing her father. I’m avoiding calling the thing a man, now.
Why not just call it a toe? That is the whole reason the stupid nickname came about.
Amber’s abusive shithole she unfortunately shares genes with?
Wait, no. Got one better. Amber’s origin supervillain. He was even doing the evil posing back around parent’s day, it totally works. (Plus at least in the other universe he was actually, actively involved with organized crime. Less likely to have carried over here but all the same, totally a supervillain.)
I just call him Dickdad.
Like Toedad, but, you know.
…idk, I think that’s sort of a huge and inappropriate jump. Not to jump on a ‘Leland did nothing wrong’ bandwagon because he’s shown up for exactly one comic as a total bully, but there’s a difference between pushing someone into a dangerous spot and then deflecting blame and trying to RAPE someone. Both are sadistic, but it’s different kinds of sadism and on different levels.
I was thinking of patterns rather than levels, or sadism, for that matter. As it’s confirmed that Ryan’s last name isn’t Leland, my assumption was wrong either way.
….Any theories on what Leland is like now?
Possibly emotionally aware and sensitive, but more likely still a bully, is my guess. Sorry if I got on your case a bit.
Based on experience and anecdotes, probably someone who can do no wrong in the eyes of his parents (except when he does, but his parents never believe it,) never lie, (all the time, if it will get them what they want,) is everyone’s friend, (except for That Guy, but he doesn’t count, as he’s a dweeb/nerd/moron/spaz,) and is a key player in a varsity sport.
His parents probably have the same tendencies, and are blind to their own faults. He’ll probably marry someone either as nasty as himself, or someone he can browbeat into never speaking above a whisper.
Oh, and he’ll be a pillar of the community, because he always knows who to write the check out to and he golfs regularly with other “important people”, who never see his darker side, (since he probably is only nasty to those beneath him, and they’re willfully blind when he browbeats, or pennytips the wait staff.)
So, he’s a young Blaine, or possibly a less-religious Ross.
I want say dead but karma is never that blunt.
I think willis is just lazy.
Somewhere, in an alternate universe, there’s a Heathcliff-style comic panel depicting today’s Unseen Faculty Member walking along the street. Two birds are perched on a branch in the foreground. One bird has its mouth open, indicating that he is speaking. The caption below the illustration reads:
“Christ, what an asshole.”
Heathcliff? No, that should be a New Yorker-style cartoon.
You know, you’re right! I got things mixed up.
A Heathcliff-style comic panel would actually be captioned with “I’m thinking of unfriending him on Facebook.”
No one should
Terrify your neighborhood…
and I can’t remember the rest of the lyrics.
Does that bird happen to be the “Yelling Bird”?
Ah jeez, now I’m extremely angry. This is unpleasant. I think I need to re-binge.
Christ on a crutch, even my worst experiences with the school admins weren’t this bad, and I had a teacher basically say he didn’t care after he saw me get gut-punched.
i have had good and bad. i have had some teachers not care when i was attacked in class. but another teacher not care when i basically maced someone who did the same thing.
not sure if this is sad or funny but my classmates at one point started to ask if i was going to do a collenbine and if i had a list and such since i seemed most likely. to me this meant i was the one they knew was picked on the worst etc but they didn’t care enough beyond making sure i wasn’t putting them on a hit list.
That’s horrific, and if a teacher heard that and did nothing, they are despicable and deserve to be fired. I’m sickened to imagine students of any age so casually and disrespectfully referencing a tragedy with such huge gravity as Columbine. What’s even more sickening is that they understand bullying may have been a factor in the shooters’ motivation, and yet that doesn’t make them want to put a stop to bullying — they just want to make sure they can safely keep bullying you without having to worry you’ll gun them down someday!
Disgusting. Disgusting, disgusting, disgusting. I’m so sorry that happened to you, miados. I’m so sorry that that could happen to anyone, I’m sorry that such horrible people can even exist!
the funny thing is i hate gore. especially the realistic type. next paragraph might be a bit dark.
i have wondered if i didn’t have that if i would have tried to do something, but then looking at my current life it would have been more likely to be turned on myself sooner and maybe more effectively.
The bullies in my school intentionally tried to groom in into being a school shooter. One time they even put a loaded hand gun in my backpack with a note saying “Do it”. My parents thought they gave it to me to kill myself, and I pretended to believe that, but its not true. You only need 1 bullet for a suicide, but they gave me a full clip.
That is disturbing in soooo many way.
makes me wonder if they wanted to commit suicide in a way that was similar to “suicide by cop”
That’s what I said.
If each atom was a word describing how horrible something is, the universe would not have enough words for that.
“but another teacher not care when i basically maced someone who did the same thing.”
I was lucky. There wasn’t a ton of heavy bullying (eg stalking, actual beatings, single person being terrorized regularly, etc) at my schools, but that didn’t mean there was nothing. A couple people would pick on me or (moreso) on my friends, and every time I retaliated, the teacher (or bus driver, as in my story yesterday) hadn’t seen/heard.
One small but memorable (although not too bad for anyone) occasion was in high school. A couple kids were intentionally trying to annoy and distract my friend and I as we were quietly working, and finally I told them to fuck off. Whatever, it’s high school, no one cares about your swearing, he looks kinda surprised and .
A few minutes later, he’s still being a little shit in general but not at me, and something happens (I don’t remember at all what, it might have been a retaliation throw-something-at-him or it might just have been that he dropped something or didn’t understand a question), and he says ‘what the hell.’ Immediately, teacher looks up and is like ‘Language.’
He’s like “but she just told me to fuck-”
and she says “LANGUAGE. Go out in the hall.”
the one benefit of being a little, assumed-female, well behaved little waif in high school
close enough to how i felt when i pulled out the cologne my grandparents got me for christmas out of my coat pocket and sprayed it point blank in the guys face.
of course it was a teachers aid watching the class and he was wearing glasses when i sprayed him in the face but good enough.
i honestly dont remember why i had it on me though since i never use any of it.
As a glasses wearer I can confirm that it’s nearly as terrible, and as a person with a nose, also that it would be very hard to smell/breathe for a little bit (even (especially?) with good cologne, as it may or may not have been), so yes be satisfied.
iirc i didn’t even look at him when i did it.
I work at a school, not as a teacher.
The school is gearing up for a big reunion.
I intend to skip. I had enough of my graduating class in the four years I had to put up with them.
I’m not planning to for mine either (though the five year just passed, so I’m good for a while). My school years weren’t really hell, but I haven’t any interest in them, and find it weird that anyone does.
the people i would want to see weren’t in my grade so reunions to me would be pointless. i think with the internet and social media they are less relevant in general anyway
Yeah, the only ones I want to see, I can get a hold of.
Let me add some details.
I work AT the school where I graduated high school.
I like my job and my boss. My boss had me add a notice about the reunion because she wants it to succeed.
I’m still skipping because I don’t want to see most of my classmates.
It’s not a matter of no emotional investment. I’m quite invested years later. I spent years nursing a grudge, that even now, one classmate’s name in particular is practically a synonym for bully for me, and that brings the names and faces of his sycophants to mind. I have turned off the radio because I heard another classmate hawking carpet. I’ve gotten, fortunately, where hearing his voice doesn’t make my teeth grate any longer.
SeanR I read it at first like you worked there, but I was unsure, so thank you for clarifying. And sorry, I didn’t mean to insinuate it was a lack of attachment for you (or everyone).
I feel that
I had someone make a comment when I was being teased and once again just acting cheerfully oblivious, “if that girl comes to school in a trench coat I’m going to call my mom and say take me home I don’t want to die”.
I hardly showed any aggression back then. I was full of it but I was used to “don’t be so sensitive”, “maybe he/they just like you” and “don’t be mean to them” Stuff like that. I eventually just internalized it all and it led to loads of self hate, self harm and half assed suicide attempts. I didn’t want to hurt anyone even tho I was so full of anger. I just turned it on my self because in my mind I wasn’t a person like those other people were.
so much of this i can relate to. still struggling with not inflicting stuff on myself now even after lots of therapists and trying pills.
although i hate the idea of needing pills. That and the fact that when it started to give me emtions again i didn’t know how to handle them so i stopped taking them.
Needing pills is a drag.
But I really don’t like how I feel without mine either. (Also I’ve been conditioned with “always take your meds”because I’m hypothyroid and will literally die without one of them. ) Its a lot of work trying to find the pill that works and doesn’t have terribly bad side effects. I had one pill that gave me horrific intrusive thoughts that scared me to death. I thought I was going insane.
I still have trouble too not inflicting harm on myself even now when I’m out of my folks’ house and out of high school. I feel like its a thing that once it starts those feelings stick around even after you think you’re over it.
maybe but its so…. frustrating. i took one for a while that made me sleep like 16 hours a day which caused me to drop out of college.
im about to get certified around the end of the year and get my first full time job. im more pleased to get away from those i live with now than anything really.
Also i haven’t noticed any good from any of them. one was starting to give me emotions again but honestly i don’t know if i can handle having them anymore at this point in my life. or maybe i would be better off without them.
heck i have already figured out how to fake happiness to an extent and when people ask why i dont get angry really i just say im to lazy to get mad/etc. it seems to get more understandable than telling people i am emotionally numb.
Jayz and Treason, someone I knew got falsely reported for planning to shoot up a school, and it was pretty nasty for her to go through because she was like, the most school spirit-y person ever and would never do that. Wrecked her reputation for a month or two.
But unlike you two, she deserved it, and those aren’t words I use lightly; she was a predator.
Jaybz with a different image, I relate. I started taking medicine for my mental illnesses about five years ago (I personally find using ‘medicine’ over ‘meds’/’medication’ makes it a lot easier to remember that that’s what it is and humanizes me (just to myself I guess, but w/e)). I’ve been on something that keeps me stabler than I’ve ever been in my life only since about April this year (though it was almost this ‘good’ for a little longer before), and I still have a lot of dangerous intrusive thoughts, admittedly. But before this I was on one that gave me intrusive thoughts much worse, and caused what may have been seizures (worsened my catatonic episodes at the very least), and had trouble getting a doctor to replace it and wean me off (technically I could have done the second myself, but the malfunctioning med was better than unmedicated me).
Also, on your last paragraph. Highschool wasn’t the worst for me, but living with my family was. My first hospitalization was about a week or two after I moved out. It’s weird how that can work.
Anyway, yeah, I guess that’s just the longform of ‘I relate’
Mine were bad, but got better.
In my “middle school” (the brazillian equivalent, that is) i had this older bully who constantly attacked me, specially by choking me and shoving me around, and the teachers never did anything to him, but it was more because i was too scared to tell.
It just got noticed after one of the times he shoved me down a row of stairs and it split open my chin, had to go to the hospital and get a stich(?). Nothing happened to that “promising kid” from such “a good family” beside a “alert”. He got suspended after this same acident happened again and i got my second scar on my chin. My mom knew i was suffering and tryed to pull me out of that place but i stopped her and made her let me stay till the end of the year so that my grades wouldn’t suffer. At those times i tought my grades were the only thing in me that mattered cause they would bring joy to my parents even if the rest of me wouldn’t (that was around the time i realized i was gay and was bit on the self-hate side).
The next year i and my little sis changed to a school run by nuns and that my mom soon got a job at as a teacher the next year (she was finishing her degree(?) at history). The last time i heard of that bully was around my second year there, it seens he had been sent to prison for drug dealing, they wanted to tell me more details but i asked for them to not. Tought forgetting that guy would be better for me but it just doesn’t work when he left me with two thin paralel scars right on my chin.
well not sure how to respond but it sucks that that happened. at least he did end up in prison even if it wasnt for the stuff that was done to you.
im no good at this sort of speaking so um…. at least you got away from him
Horrific, vile, victim-blaming aside, who is taking care of kid Marcie? Why isn’t she in school? I hope she’s got a stable home. 🙁
a good chance her family is working hard to provide what they can even if it leaves her solo a lot? or maybe im way off i dont know the character history willis made for her that far back.
There isnt much established about Marcie’s character history. I suspect Willis is establishing it in the next few strips.
Yeah. And what happened to her after the incident? Did she get any medical attention? At least her band-aid?
Why isn’t she in school? Even undocumented kids can go to school. Jumping back to the job prospects thing we were talking about for her at the start of the rally sequence, does she maybe lack even a basic education?
The fact Marcie uses ASL makes me suspect she’s had some schooling. I would imagine just picking it up on your own wouldn’t be easy, especially if your parents’ first language isn’t English.
It could be one more reason she and Sal had to learn it together.
I smell Privilege. I smell Bias. Sally smells it too.
Well yeah, it reeks, but somehow those who’ve been soaked in it can’t seem to notice.
They’ve gone nose blind. I hear Febreze can help with that.
this stink eats Febreze.
If it helps, I laughed.
Not surprisingly. Live with anything long enough it’s just the way things are.
Yeah people learn this stuff young.
Also fear of Leland’s parents…..And silent agreeableness from Her like-minded parents.
No need to shine a spotlight on what was clearly blatant bullying in front at least three eye witnesses.
You know what’s odd? I’ve situation exactly like this happen before like accurately 2 times before in like the 4th and 5th except the school teachers flipped their collective shits at the kid from the school instead of it the other way around.
That’s what professionalism looks like.
The problem is when you only see one act. Is this the bullying, or the reaction?
I saw a bully get set up by a couple smaller kids once. If I didn’t know the first kid had a bullying streak (caught on camera), I’d never have suspected it of anything but bullying by the smaller two kids.
How do you know? How do you, as an occasional witness who isn’t really part of their world except on the periphery, know when to step in, and when you’re doing exactly what the little snot wants you to do, practically on cue?
If you see a kid doing something shitty to another kid, you deal with that.
Not doing anything because it’s possible there’s more to the situation is an acceptable option.
*not* an acceptable option.
Do what the teachers did in my old elementary school (funnily enough the worst school I’ve been in, but the only one where bullying was not tolerated at all). Stop it, bring it both parties into the principal’s office for questioning, determine the actual situation and punish the bully. Happened to me twice because the school bully decided I’d make a good target and I fought back.
I haven’t mentioned it lately, but fuck I hate the Walkerton parents. And most school officials. This is exactly the kind of BS that allowed my rapist to go free in high school.
I’m sorry that happened to you. At a school I did some pre-service teaching at, a student reported being sexually assaulted at school to school officials and got in trouble for “engaging in inappropriate activity on school grounds.” There’s a case that’s currently going forward about it, so hopefully there ends up being a better outcome, but still. Such bullshit.
nothin’ll happen. watch. nothin ever does.
My assault didn’t happen on school grounds, but the only reason I was in the position for it to happen was because I was asked to tutor the asshole so he could stay on the football team
*appropriate gesture of support*
*more of the same*
*more support, far whatever it may be worth*
*offering sympathy through non-touching*
Shoot, that’s awful. Abysmal even. I pray for karma upon him.
He did eventually end up in prison for a different offence years later. Something involving a minor, so I heard. That’s small consolation since if they had prosecuted him when he assaulted me, the girls he hurt after me wouldn’t have gone through it.
Here’s hoping we don’t have people all night claiming this is unrealistic.
Please, please, can we avoid that for once?
Just once can we acknowledge that this happens? Constantly?
All of the damned time. My elementary school tried to paint the picture of me being a bully because I broke a kids nose that had been bullying me for about a year and would not stop poking and prodding me in the damned lunch line.
i got suspended during finals in highschool when i had a mental break down due to bullying. while i was never a highly emotional person i think that was around when i started to get severly numb emotionally speaking.
I don’t actually have a problem with that as long as they genuinely don’t know about it. People don’t always grasp these things and them realizing it is not necessarily a bad thing as long as they realize it after that.
In a comic where the characters are learning to expand their worldview, the commentors can be surprisingly harsh on readers who are doing the same.
It sounds like you are mixing up people trying to expand their worldview,
with people who have their eyes closed and are trying to shut down the discussion.
It sounds like you have more empathy for people who are saying abuse doenst happen, or worse even the denial of abuse doesnt happen ( plus with victim blaming) ; then you do for the survivors of bullying and abuse who were denied justice or told it didnt happen.
That is what it sounds like you are saying.
There is such a thing as a culture of complicity. People need an opportunity to learn. But if someone enters a conversation in aggressive denialism , they are just enacting the culture of complicity the comic is demonstrating.
What? No. The stuff that happens to Marcie and Sal (and that does happen in real life) is a horrible culture.
People should know that these things exist. And some people don’t, for whatever reason (ignorance, different cultures, etc.) What matters is what happens after they’re shown that, hey, these horrible, unfair things do happen, are happening in real life. If they shrug and go, ‘yeah right, it doesn’t really happen’? Then yes, take them to task over it. If they genuinely didn’t know and become a better person as a result of being told about it, that’s a better result then a bunch of people exploding at them for, how dare you not know about the problems in our country you ignorant summer child.
If you think I’m defending people who defend abuse, then that’s just wrong. Everyone has a right to know that abuse exists and that it’s very very not okay. It’s being patient and remembering that maybe not everyone has hit that point yet. The people who read this comic vary in ages, ethinicities, nationalities, cultures and life experience. I’m not going to hold people against not being an expert in everything that goes on in American culture, as long as they know NOW.
The appropriate response to not knowing these kinds of things happen is to keep you mouth shut and listen to the people who have lived such scenarios. In this case; read all the comments here that are detailing exactly these kinds of situations. There is absolutely no need to jump in with “but that doesn’t really happen!” at any point ever in a conversation about abuse, bullying, victim blaming, racism, sexism, sexual assault, etc. An appropriate comment would be “wow I had no idea this kind of thing actually happens.”
Expecting there to be one, and only one, response to any particular social situation is the dry brush that leads to all too many hostile fights.
People do not live all cultures. They develop biases which affect how easily they’ll believe things contradicting those biases. But when we exchange views, we get a glimpse of perspective. An earnest reaching out with a mistaken, or seemingly mistaken, viewpoint is an opportunity to educate and be educated. Overly hostile responses to such reaching out only displays our own forms of xenophobia.
The absolute worst part about this is the fact that this is literally how schools STILL react to these sort of things. Instead of addressing the actual issue, they decide to sweep it under the rug and say “Well, we just can’t see this student doing that sort of thing” and just ignore any threats in the future. It’s horse shit, but that’s how the American School Districts are.
Sal learned early to burn the system
“He’s a good kid.” That’s exactly what my high school said about my stalker ex boyfriend when I was dumb enough to believe them when they said would help us if we were being hurt. That plus “He just has a bad home life.” Because that excused it all.
*appropriate gesture of support* That sucks. And yeah, this victim-blaming garbage pops up everywhere.
Moral of the story, never be a victim. Be a bully and the world bends over backwards for you. Ignore the people telling you to be a good person, that’s for suckers.
Thanks 🙂 And yeah, if not for the fact I’ve spoken to other victims of abuse across the world, I would think it was just confined to Indiana.
Obviously it’s awful how they’re blaming Marcie here, but I guess it kind of makes sense that if Marcie’s not a student this isn’t the school’s jurisdiction.
I think the really damning thing is how they’re trying to hush up the incident. Like, okay, you can’t do shit, but then you go on to say “Let’s not shine a spotlight on this”, but that doesn’t follow from your previous statements at all. If the school could deal with this we could’ve avoided shining a spotlight on the incident, but since they can’t that means the police have to get involved, so the spotlight’s now unavoidable.
(huge child abuse/rape trigger warning)
An elementary school near where I grew up tried to hush up a sexual assault where several 9-10 year old boys attacked a 7 or so year old girl.
Unfortunately I can’t find any articles on it, even though I knew they existed (well that fits the theme of the day.). I found the preview on google but the link no longer works. Here’s two versions of the preview
School districts are terrifying.
Tried the wayback machine?
I didn’t, but I tried just now and there’s no archive of it (it was a pretty specific page about a moderately small town, so I guess I’m not too surprised). I remember there being articles in at least the online versions of a local newspaper or two, but nothing comes up anymore.
Colleges cover shit like that up all the time, it’s not surprising primary schools do it too.
It only makes sense in a “yeah, I can see them covering their asses like this” way. It’s awful and gross and vile. Who cares if the victim was not a student there? Does it somehow change the fact that one of their students committed assault on school grounds?
It make sense that she is not allowed on the playground being a non-student. It doesn’t make sense that this has anything to do with their reaction to this issue. Her presence on the playground should be entirely a side issue. The issue they are discussing here is “what course of action is appropriate to take against Leland.”
“She is not our liability” is a gross misinterpretation of the American legal system anyway. Schools are responsible for what happens on their playground (see all the horrified comments about an open ravine next to the playground). Since she is not a student, any liability the school incurred towards her would not be covered in a normal fashion by the school’s resources (insurance, budget, what have you). “Having her on school grounds is a liability” would be a correct statement – that is to say, that if she got hurt on school grounds the school would be liable (responsible) for covering medical costs, but their insurance might not pick that up, so it is not in their interest to allow non-students on school grounds.
All of above that is entirely a moot point given that THEY HAVE MADE NO EFFORT TO DETERMINE WHETHER MARCIE IS ENROLLED AT ANOTHER SCHOOL. The appropriate response to discovering a non-student on the playground (assuming this is during school hours) would be to contact her school about this incident. It should be simple enough to figure what school she’s in and contact them about the incident.
“If the school could deal with this we could’ve avoided shining a spotlight on the incident, but since they can’t that means the police have to get involved, so the spotlight’s now unavoidable.”
You misunderstand. Police will only get involved if someone actually contacts them; what this school official is doing is persuading those they can influence who are most likely to contact the police (i.e. the parents of the child that is loudly complaining about an attack) not to.
See, it would almost be understandable, if you removed everything except the line that Marcie is not a student. Since she is not a student, she indeed shouldn’t be on the school’s playground (at least during school hours; some schools allow all children to play on their playground after-hours). If a non-student causes a problem on the playground, the school staff technically have no authority to discipline them (e.g. imagine if Leland was the non-student and Marcie was a student), so they cannot allow non-students.
But then literally everything else this person says is utter racist garbage. She’s Hispanic, she could be an illegal! Irrelevant. Leland is from a good family! Irrelevant. Sal’s claim isn’t enough to make a fuss! Irrelevant and discourages students from speaking out when they witness bullying. A reasonable and non-racist response would be something like “We will make a note of this, try to increase vigilance of playground monitors, and take disciplinary action if there is another incident of Leland bullying in the future.” (If Leland bullies a non-student and they have little proof, the school is somewhat powerless to do much. If Leland bullies another student, even the word of one witness and the victim is enough to punish Leland.)
I’m halfway curious if their verdict would have been any different if Sal was white, actually. One white kid’s claim against another’s?
If they were reasonable and not-bigoted, the verdict wouldn’t change if Marcie was white. The bigot in the comic above? Then Sal probably still comes out as the loser, because it sounds like Leland is of higher socioeconomic status than Sal. There’s always a pecking order when it comes to bigotry. If classification #1 is the same, refer to secondary classifications. [/bitter cynicism]
*if Sal was white. Mixed up names.
so a matter of what is right vs what is legal/lawful.
even a lecture wouldn’t be to bad. teachers seem to love to lecture students over stupid stuff they can lecture about things that matter.
Even then, it’s still bullshit. We discipline our students all the time for shit they try to pull on non-students. We hear about one of our kids doing something off campus that’s not okay, we pull them into the principal’s office, call in their parents, the whole nine yards.
Cause at the end of the day, the offending student was ours. Leland is part of that school, did the action in front of other students, threatened another student not to tell and injured a non-student on school grounds.
There is no aspect of this that shouldn’t have gotten him written up and I guarantee that if Leland had bullied the little brother of an equally or more connected family of the school or the community or if Leland had not been white, he would have been read 13 novels worth of riot act right about now.
That’s why I said it’d be “almost” understandable if you took out all the obvious bigotry. I could maybe forgive if they were too cowed by Leland’s family’s importance to discipline him over an incident with a non-student. It’s harder to defend their taking disciplinary action, since (by most people’s perception) they aren’t responsible for a non-student and have no (legal) responsibility to protect them. Sorry, it’s hard to explain what I mean. I still absolutely agree with you that anybody with ANY moral integrity would discipline Leland regardless of any other factors. But sometimes, moral fiber plays second fiddle to cowardice. And that’s a human failing that is deeply regrettable, but something I can understand given I’ve been guilty of cowardice before and probably will be in the future.
Actually, I don’t think that’s true. Schools are responsible for what happens on their grounds.
While I am not a teacher, I volunteer anually at a camp, and I second this.
If we found one of our campers was not only bullying, but *physically harming* a child that was not a camper (And not supposed to be on-site)?
I actually cannot fathom what the consequences would be. I cannot imagine the dressing down the camper would get. And the utter apocalypse that would ensue if the parents tried to pull the “But the kid that got hurt wasn’t supposed to be there!” shit with our director. (She’s a formal social worker. To say she would not be happy is… yeah. Like saying “Sal slightly dislikes authority.”)
Even if the bullied (or gods forbid INJURED) child is not one of ours, the camper IS, and they, and their actions, are our responsibility, period paragraph.
Plot twist: Leland later changed his name to Brock Turner.
The camera is less likely to poke lil Sally in the eye than the reverse.
Hey, if Amber can be a broken superhero, I see no reason not to make Sal a Deadpool.
What about not scarring her? Make her She-hulk, any character from the Bravoman webcomic, or even Ambush Bug before Deadpool. Deadpool wouldn’t wish his cancer on anyone.
The fourth wall is there for anybody to break.
It’s those Dolly Zooms. D.Helmet can attest to that.
… Oh. Oh god.
Something eventually happens to Marcie that renders her mute, right? We know this happens.
We also know, or at least have reason to believe, that she’s been mute for quite some time, since early in her childhood.
… Is Leland going to wind up injuring Marcie even worse?
Leland? I wouldn’t put it past the school board to hire someone to cut Marcie’s tongue out to prevent her testifying in court.
i am more picturing he tries to strangle her to crushing something in her throat and sal does something like smash him upside the head with a baseball bat which is how marcie ends up mute, sal ends up sent away and leland learns a lesson that it only takes one person pushed to far to retaliate.
Sal probably wasn’t sent away twice, but could be Sal’s first change of schools (locally) or something.
Actually adding to that, that would boost the whole authority being dicks to her from the start thing, arriving at a new school with ‘yeah she was expelled from her last one for beating a really promising lil boy up’
I think Leland is not long for this world.
called it. fuckin. called it
And yet, it is a hollow victory, as I think you wished you were wrong in this case.
Also, who the fuck cares if Marcie’s family is in the country legally or not? Not only is it completely irrelevant to the situation at hand, it’s a pretty ballsy assumption just based on ‘latina girl that doesn’t go to our school’. Does this district not have multiple schools? Could she not be visiting from one town over? Could she not be homeschooled? Even if it WAS true, and Sal sort of implies Marcie is a citizen but her parents are not, she’s still an actual child that got assaulted.
Because if the boy gets in trouble, his parents may pull him from the school, or not donate as much money to the school. And, well, Boys will be Boys!
Or any other sort of bullshit excuses administrators like this like to make for not punishing bullies. I. Just. Ugh.
Suffice to say: “She’s not one of ours, her family probably can’t even sue us if something bad happens to her because of Leland, so you know what? Not our fucking problem, and we don’t give a shit.”
If the parents can’t press charges against the kid – because they’re not legal – then I think they can’t do anything. Lord knows this principal sure won’t.
Oh, to clarify, it’s not the fact that they’re not legal immigrants, it’s the fear that they may be deported for doing so.
Yeah. And I know that’s what the school is banking on here! It just… sucks.
Also, wow, strips like this and the last one at least show me my camp counselor training (go girlscouts) really has taken root in my heart.
Because jesus christ I am LIVID, and I know this is fictional!
/Our direct would not put up with that shit, she would not.
The thing is most people will do things that’ll benefit them and the institutions they’re a part of.
The problem is when institutions need reputations to do business.
And things like moral upbringing, general work ethic and social skills don’t really have statistics that they can use.
The only clear way you can project out into the world that these necessary skills and traits can be developed is by having such a reputation.
And its one of the failings of a system that can’t quantify emotional upbringing of a child.
To help fix it, we’d either need a school that doesn’t rely on its reputation to exist.
And that won’t fix things wholly if some of the staff don’t care. Or if the staff can be cowed by stronger willed parents.
And that’s why Sal doesn’t trust authority figures! I don’t blame you Sal, I don’t blame you at all!
I’m sure this is just one incident in a very, very long line.
Perhaps one of the first, and thus the most infuriating bullshit memorable, but…
negative/bad times are remembered better than good/happy times. the power of your emotions help cement it in your mind and anger/sadness is usually more powerful than happiness/joy.
people shake and put lots of energy into what they do/say when angry/sad/etc but you dont see almost anyone with that level of energy when they are happy.
Nobody can claim stuff like this happens, considering people like Ethan Couch exist.
I think you misspoke. Did you mean, “Nobody can claim stuff like this” Doesn’t “happen”?
Considering people like the affluenza kid, and his rotten parents, exist?
Most of the thousands of cruelties that go on every day are not out of the intent to harm, but out of lacking the courage to do the right thing.
They add up.
It’s the same whether it’s these school administrators, or “good cops” who don’t call out “bad cops,” or just the simple lies we tell ourselves to convince ourselves that our own comforts are deserved.
Think long and hard on it, folks.
Evansville, Indiana in a nutshell, right here.
depending on their gender there are probably worse places.
gender dont matter a hot poker up the uretha is a hot poker up the urethra
That’s not really appropriate.
Starting to see the genesis of Sal’s rebellious streak as well as why she clings to Marcie in the present.
As someone who lives near Stanford, where a kid that “showed promise” named Brock Turner got a slap on the wrist for RAPING an UNCONSCIOUS GIRL this really hits close to home.
Beat the shit out of him, Sal.
Where a MAN named Brock Turner…
(on your side here, so easy to slip up with the disgusting media narrative)
I’m more inclined to think “kid” was meant to drive home the parallel between the treatment of Leland and Brock, not to suggest that Brock isn’t a grown-ass adult with no fucking excuse to not know better.
No the best solution is keep a discrete eye on the little bastard, gather evidence and then expel him. Learn to not be jackass is more important than his family’s reputation. Sometimes people are just bad and other just want to watch the world burn.
If this is the beginning of Sal’s Descent into a life of delinquency, Leland is about to learn a few valuable, painful lessons.
If not, it definitely helped.
Man, I sure am mad at that one teacher, surely no one will anger me even more than- Oh, right school administrators.
Let’s be frank. Most school administrators are scum. By design. There’s been a concentrated campaign by a particular group of creationist-believing ideologues to occupy as many school boards as possible, knowing that most people don’t pay attention to local elections that much. Once there, they tend to be able to install “their type of person” in charge of schools, leading to the most conservative and most corrupt member of the school being the one in charge.
And private schools tend to be worse owing to the direct need to mollify parents and avoid any action that will lead to a student being pulled out and just general corporate policy awfulness. Which isn’t to say every administrator is a piece of shit, just that shitty administrators are an unfortunately likely aspect of many schools.
That all being said, FUDGE THIS DOUCHENOZZLE! FUDGE HIM TO THE CHOCOLATE MINES OF MALCHIOR 7!
And I love the tight focus with soft zoom as Sal listens to more and more bullshit, just losing even the illusion of trust that there’s such a thing as justice or that adults even care.
Hell, her parents aren’t even raising an objection, just quietly listening. And she’s still in her outfit. Sal’s parents were called, like she’s the one in trouble, not the sonuvapercussiveinstrument that nearly severely injured her friend.
And it’s that injustice and so many more that fuels her fire and likely sets her off on her path of struggles with anger and authority figures. Maybe even fueling a vigilanteism sense of “there’s no justice, only me” that draws even more parallels between her young self and AG. Who knows, but it is clear that this is just one injustice in many falling onto her heart.
And now, some panel reactions…
As someone who worked for a couple of years at a private school, I wholeheartedly agree. The administration was a complete and total nightmare, and a friend who recently finally escaped showered me and my wife with even more horror stories after we both left. I seriously wish I could write a book about just the shitty two years I had, so maybe parents can see what they don’t tend to hear about.
Do it the world needs to know.
Except I signed a confidentiality agreement when I left. With all the money they take in yearly, I’m betting their lawyers would be better than anyone I could manage on a TA salary.
publish it after your dead.
I’m hoping to write it after THEY’RE dead. They’ve been raising tuition each year and cycling through staff like crazy, so enrollment is way down, and everyone I still talk to who ever worked there can’t understand how they’re still staying above water.
Barrowing from the Tirades maybe.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul?
I mean, one single teacher handling a situation poorly when she’s put on the spot is understandable. At least the school administration, when given time to look a bit closer at what happened, where willing to give a fair assessment and apologize for their initial treatment…
…ooooops, that’s not what happened at all.
That’s a rough spot, I hear they have problems with gumdrops.
Sal-ing of Age: Birth of a Rebellion
This is too real
A thought: Stanford is officially “The Leland Stanford Jr. University”. Lelands will be Lelands, apparently…
According to tumblr, that was a coincidence.
That’s how good Willis is. He put that reference to Leland into Shortpacked! years before it became relevant. The Willis sees all, the Willis knows all.
Sooooooooo I’m guessing the shithead kid is going to appear, beaten up in an alley in the near future?
Amazi-sal strikes again.
Me too, baby Sal. Me fucking too.
Had to deal with this shit in primary school. Plenty of shitty, spoiled kids whose parents had the staff in their pockets. Always being told to “ignore” “deescalate” “not provoke them”. One of the rare instances where I definitely empathize with Sal.
Public school discipline in a nutshell folks “can we get sued?” “No?” “well then fuck off kid not our problem”
Panel 1: Oh, this is such a douchey opening. “The problem is, the girl…” “allegedly attacked” “not a student”.
Every aspect of this excuse is entirely an obvious attempt to push the real issue off the table before the conversation even begins. Oh, let’s not talk about how your friend got hurt or how there’s discipline talks with Leland or even insincere attempts to obfuscate the response and act like Sal’s feelings are worth empathizing with.
Just, a quick, uhhh, the problem is that the person he attacked wasn’t a student, not student, not our problem, case closed, fuck you. I don’t even care enough about you to lie to you and say we’ll try to do something to help.
Panel 2: And following that up with that out-and-out racism. Yeah, we hear you loud and clear Mr. Principal, the person hurt was some “dirty” latinx person and a girl, probably with parents who can’t afford whatever shitty ass private school Sal and Walky are going to. And so you can’t even pretend to give a fuck.
Like, there’s a lot of unconscious racism in school systems, subtle ways in which non-white students get treated, but this is just blatant elitist racist garbage and he doesn’t even care. He suspects the type of parents to go to a school like his to fully agree with his bigotry. Hell, he’s not even worried that Sal’s parents will threaten to take Walky and Sal out of school.
And for Sal, to see that, to see how radically different she and Marcie are treated compared to their peers, to see her parents complicity in that system, raising no protest, seeing nothing wrong. No wonder she’s done with that mindset and all who carry it.
I’m seeing a lot being thrown around about assuming this is a private school, but I actually take panel 2 as confirmation that it’s not. If it were a private school, the natural assumption would be that Marcie is a public school kid (and on that assumption they probably would’ve already reported her for truancy). I’m thinking it’s just ‘nice neighborhood’ public school (i.e. a public school in a district with expensive enough homes and high enough property taxes that the school can afford to be as snooty as any private school)
For panel two I was thinking, “A what, a what now? Say the slur, show everyone how much of a bigot you really are.”
This is, like, the formative memory ball in the center of Sal’s mental control room. She probably still hasn’t forgiven her parents for remaining silent during all that racist, victim-blaming horse shit.
Especially considering the fact that her “ambiguously beige” brother got to coast through everything easily, whereas she was treated as a problem child.
Her parents did NOT do well by her, in this or any other interaction. x.x
Sal’s brain is controlled mainly by Disgust and Anger
Panel 3: White boys always seem to be “good kids” with “bright futures” when they harm folks, especially if the folks they hurt are marginalized along some axis of oppression. See Ryan Lochte and all the articles exclaiming how good a kid he was or all the articles today lamenting the “harm” Brock Turner’s 3 months in jail did to him.
And it’s part of a sickness that’s in our justice system and why it’s fundamentally broken. And that’s that right now, we don’t view crimes against marginalized folks as real crimes because we don’t see those affected as fully real people. Not only that, but we see jails as awful places of abuse… that “good kids” should be kept out of.
And that last piece is why Brock Turner got exactly as much time as Willis’s buffer. Because we view jail as a place we send “criminals” as defined by non-white people or poor white people that we can imagine as the equivalent of human garbage, that is too horrible for any rich white guy to spend time in. So we hesitate to ever send any rich, white man to jail because it’s not seen as his place. He doesn’t “belong” there. So we let him off or give him a reduced sentence or put him in a special facility that’s much nicer and has none of the “riffraff”. No matter what the rich white guy did.
And the social downside of that is that those rich white guys never learn any lesson other than their skin color and wealth makes anything they do okay, because the world will turn heaven and earth to keep them out of jail. Kill a guy, rob an orphanage, run a torture camp in the Arizona government? None of them believe that anything they do will ever have real consequences so laws are more like quaint guidelines.
Hence the shock and consternation when one of these fucks even gets a tiny reduced sentence. Because they really did believe they were above the law.
Panel 4: Oh, hey, there’s a bright shiny red flag right there. Several. The hesitation and inability to actually say what Leland did, keeping it all vagues and clean.
But most of all, that little bit where he emphasizes “shining a spotlight” on the school.
Like, mmhmm, what little kickbacks scheme do ya got working there principal, sir? Maybe that’s a little responsible for there being a trench filled with exposed rebar within easy access of kids playing on the playground? And you’re worried that the parents of the kid you’re fucking over will decide to make noise about this and expose your shitty corrupt business?
What a complete and total prick.
Panel 5: And we close on pure victim-blaming, copy and pasted from a million school administrator comments on rape. Oh, it can’t be the fault of our gloriously white and male student. It must have been the poor latina girl who lead on our stalwart hero. She’s the source, because our student’s racism and bullying wouldn’t have ever been exposed if we just kept “those types” safely out of it.
And once again, I note, that her parents haven’t moved, haven’t interrupted for a second. Sal is completely alone in her morals, knowing that if she were to interrupt, her mom wouldn’t hesitate for a second to call her out in exactly the way she’s failing to call out this racist sexist toolbag.
No wonder Sal feels helpless and like Marcie is the only person she can talk to. She’s been surrounded by people she knows would never lift a finger to help her all her life.
“all the articles today lamenting the “harm” Brock Turner’s 3 months in jail did to him”
Oh. Oh, it is a very good thing I worked all day today and had no time to immerse myself in internet and find those. One panic attack this week is plenty for me.
(hides under desk in forlorn hope that one day this shit will end)
Cerberus, you’ve identified the systemic issues leading to that shit better than I could ever hope to. Would you be okay with those paragraphs being stolen for a (public) fb post? I’d probably preface them with a vague “Found in a forum I follow: a bloody accurate summary of why Brock Turner and Aaron Persky exist, and why there’s more, and why we shouldn’t put up with it”… as I suspect those who most need to read it are those most likely to follow links or identifiable names/aliases and cause shit as a result.
(and very light editing to generalise away from DoA. ping me at this name at gmail if you’d rather discuss offline)
Sure, feel free. I’d be okay with it if you vague up the origins a little.
Appreciated. The world needs more teachers like you, y’know?
Got any room under there?
The only thing I’d argue with you on in what you had to say is the “… and why [our justice system is] fundamentally broken.” There are much more fundamental issues with our societal and justice systems which these problems flow out of (I’d list some, but I’d be here for several hours being exhaustive in spite of myself).
True, I should have said one of the ways in which the justice system is broken.
I wonder if that “shine a spotlight here” line, rather than referring to the school actually refers to Leland’s family. Like you said yesterday, the particular language of Leland’s “explanation” is… Troubling. If it’s an open secret that Leland’s family has, let’s say, “a history of clumsy children and/or wives” or whatever euphamism of the day, but it’s a Good Family(tm), the school official may be protecting the family from inquiries.
And/or protecting the school’s preexisting failures to report about said family.
Just in case you wanted a different interpretation to hate this school official even MORE.
That’s considerably possible, especially since I know for a fact that Leland didn’t learn that “she tripped” excuse for violence from nowhere. This shit was taught at home.
“Run a torture camp in the Arizona Government”? That’s an oddly specific thing that I’m afraid to google to see what comes up.
The Wikipedia entry on Joe Arpaio should give you plenty of reading material.
Thank you. I have zero intention of looking at it, but thank you. My nightmares are horrible enough as it is, I’d like to be able to at least get some sleep.
The entire lecture is a well scripted blame-the-victim setup.
“The problem here is the girl Leland allegedly attacked…”. In one phrase, the problem is identified as Marcie, Marcie is denied a name, and the attack is discounted with the word “allegedly.” The problem isn’t Marcie anything. The problem is Leland attacked her. “Allegedly” paints this as a “your word against his” situation, which is exactly what you get when you refuse to investigate. Less than a sentence into the first panel and we already see where this is headed.
“We don’t know if she’s homeschooled or an-an-an illegal…” We’ve already identified the victim as the source of the problem, so now we’re going to find anything we can to suggest that she’s of diminished moral character. It could be anything. “They have a conviction record,” “They’re a sex worker,” “They have a history of alcohol abuse”. Absolutely anything they can find to suggest that the victim is anything less than a paragon of moral virtue is pounced upon to suggest that they were “looking for trouble” or “they put themselves in that situation to be attacked”. In this case, it’s a baseless assumption about her immigration status.
“And Leland, well, he’s a good student. A very good student. Good family. Very promising future. It doesn’t seem like him at all.” there is SO DAMN MUCH loaded into that panel. “He’s a good student.” Implies that, by contrast, Sal and Marcie are not good. He probably also has good grades and scores well on standardized tests (with all the racist and classist baggage they bring with them). Leland makes the school look good on paper, so they don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. “Good family… bright future” They don’t want to jeopardize the future they’ve imagined for Leland but are happy to let him jeopardize others’, again implying that they haven’t imagined any future for Sal and Marcie.
“Just because your daughter claims…” Again, dismissing the attack even took place. It’s a she said/he said thing because we won’t “shine a spotlight” and we’re choosing to believe Leland because fuck-you-that’s-why.
“There’s a lot at risk here.” Like what? Children fight. They misbehave. Usually, that means a stern scolding and some kind of punishment. At their age, what should be at risk is Leland getting extra chores and no television this weekend. Perhaps harsher because of the risk of more serious harm to Marcie, but nobody’s suggesting imprisoning Leland. This is just exaggerating the situation to justify inaction.
And I know that Leland is a stand-in for Brock Turner (given Willis’s tweet about finishing yesterday’s strip just as Turner was being sent to prison), so that line might well be a reference to the long term consequences of having a criminal record and being on the sex-offender registry. In that case, there really is a lot at risk. Our justice system is a punitive one rather than rehabilitative and it is an awful, broken system. Of course by letting the Brock Turners of the world off the hook, we risk teaching upper-class white men that they can rape drunk women, kill people with your car while drunk, or otherwise abuse people with less money or browner skin. We also risk teaching women and minorities that it isn’t worth it to try to press charges because they will be publicly shamed and harassed and nothing will come of it.
“Frankly, we feel the best solution is to dissuade Sally’s friend from trespassing on school property. She’s kind of the source of all this.” This is where all the pretense falls away. “If Marcie hadn’t been there, this wouldn’t have happened.” Never mind the fact that, if it hadn’t been Marcie, it would have been someone else. If it hadn’t been that intoxicated woman, it would have been the next. If it hadn’t been you, it would have been me.
The entire speech is victim blaming 101. Deny the crime happened. Remember, it’s only an “alleged” assault. Deny that it was even a crime at all. Remember, it was only a little harmless fun or a youthful indiscretion. Find any reason to elevate the character of the attacker. He’s a bright kid with a promising future. Find any reason to diminish the character of the victim. They have a history of violence, alcoholism or sex work or anything else people will find unsavory. Find anything at all, reasonable or not, that the victim could have done to avoid being a victim. She shouldn’t have been at that party. She shouldn’t have been drinking. She shouldn’t have been wearing a skirt.
This entire speech, from the very first word, was all leading up to blaming Marcie. And if you’re not careful, if you want to believe it, it can all sound so reasonable.
You know, as much fun political commentary as this is, I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all coalesces into the existing story and if this is the origin of Marcy not being able to talk.
Even if this incident isn’t, I think the origin probably stems from it
I suspect this will more directly feed in to the ongoing compare-and-contrast between Amber and Sal, as far as the current storyline is concerned. Sal’s mentioned before that she recognises some of her younger self in Amber, and we left the two right in the middle of Sal being ‘racially profiled’ at the DeSanto rally.
hmm im thinking this leland might be the dude that Joyce glassed way back when and then we got a look at him again before the flashback though thats just me going out on a limb here
That guy was named Ryan.
No, that was Ryan, who thus far as no backstory and probably won’t get one.
Nah, that was Ryan. This is Leland.
Wow, I am late late late.
The worst of this is that I can really see Linda – and perhaps Charles as well – nodding and agreeing. They are fluent in the language of the principal and agree.
Yes, she is not a school liability. Yes it’s such a good family. Yes, no reason to shine a spotlight. Yes, Sal. Your best friend is not as important as a bully. No one will stand up for her. There is only you.
Odds that next, we see Mom Walkerton trying to convince “Sally” not to hang out with Marcie anymore, or outright forbidding her?
Very likely, in fact, I think Sal already got that message. Loud and clear…
There’s an earlier flashback wher Sal and Marcie meet. I don’t want to archive dive right now, and I don’t recall which one was carried off by her mother, being told not to hang around that kind, but I do recall that much.
I’ve got it, it was linked yesterday.
And specifically the next strip, which… ugh.
Oops, thought I had the next one. Close enough
Sal’s comment about taking back “conquered territory” and giving it back “to the masses” makes me wonder if one or more of her grandparents wasn’t a ’60s radical. It’s not the kind of language you’d expect her to get from her parents.
But Sal being Sal, she’s already planning to give back her own message about that shit, even louder and even clearer.
I know this was written months ago, but damn the release is well timed.
Willis had no way to know that the affluenza kid and Brock Turner would be in the news today.
It’s damned eerie.
Brock Turner was SUPPOSED to get three more months! How horrific is it that his stay in prison was exactly the length of my goddamn webcomic buffer.
(well actually he was supposed to get like 6-14 years but goddamn)
You must use your powers for good, Willis!
Do a strip where Trump gets hit by a meteor. Hopefully the comic will rotate out of the buffer before the end of January.
Shortpacked! doesn’t have one. He could post there anytime. Plus that kind of comic would probably fit better there.
It strikes me…
…even with all this going on, we’re still in blue panels.
Does Sal get red panels? What does it take for Sal to get a red panel?
I’m almost afraid of the answer.
isnt blue just for indicating it is a memory/flashback as opposed to what is currently happening?
Red is for flashbacks too, though.
Sal has been in red flashback panels, but she hasn’t been in red panels in her own flashback yet.
huh i cant remember the red ones but meh its a webcomic so its not like i am especially invested in knowing every detail. Like recently i had to look up who scarface was since it has been so long since he showed up and lack of face time makes you less likely to recall them.
To be fair there are also red panel non flashbacks. I think blue=flashback, red=super angry/possibly other emotions regardless of flashback or not
Red is probably personal trauma.
If I recall correctly, only Amber and Joyce have had red panels (I could be wrong, I had to go looking for Joyce’s). Something I’ve noticed is that Amber’s have been either A) that one flashback, or B) moments where she channels a bit of Blaine. And honestly, you could argue that the end of the flashback fits the second category too.
Yeah, red seems to be reserved for PTSD flashbacks rather than standard blue. Sal is clearly deeply affected by this incident and definitely internalized just how much the system sucked as a result of it, but she doesn’t have the other psychological reactions Amber and Joyce have (literal triggered flashbacks, Joyce’s hallucinations and trauma hand, Amber’s rage and compartmentalization and DID) that go with the red panels. Similarly, Sarah’s experience with Dana was traumatic and affected her deeply and she’s probably not in a good mental place now, but it doesn’t seem to have catalyzed the same way the Toedad or shoplifting or Ryan incidents have for Joyce and Amber.
Wouldn’t be surprised if Becky ends up with red panels of her own at some point, though. Ruth could go either way but I suspect with the slow-running longterm abuse thing the red panels don’t really come out as often.
Clearly this is what gave Sal the unquenchable thirst for justice that ultimately led to her becoming Amazi-Girl.
I was going to say that you’re a few years late on the joke, but I’ll just go with “The Thirst Is Real?”
I bet Sal’s going to get suspended after this. For trying to claw the douchenozzle speaking’s eyes out.
Inefficient. Just punch him in the throat.
What the hell are these parents doing???
The just sit there at let a bully be explained away. And they look mightily uncomfortable, as if they were on trial here.
this sort of thing is actually extremely common. Say anything behind a desk with enough fake concern and “logic” and people will go with it to not rock the boat. Also Walky was bullied into contradicting Sal’s testimony so…
Please, let’s not go (any further) down this path.
I thoroughly hate authorities, notably school administration, who explain bullying away by blaming the victim of said bullying.
or wave it off as “their kids and kids will be kids” instead of using that as a way to teach them about being better people.
My elementary school actually… well, I don’t know if they expelled him, but the only consistently violent bully I remember in the entirety of my schooling was moved to homeschooling. His family was still fairly community active and he had several siblings (one’s my friend and a year younger, the others were like 5 and 15 years older), so he still got socialized at least. I’m not sure if it was an expulsion of a very heavy suggestion that the parents pull him out though.
Ugh, sorry, that should have the context of “they actually took a rare move to stop a bully completely (although possibly not the best thing for the bully)”
And Boo Radley never made trouble again. I don’t remember the exact transgression, but this backstory of small town “dealing with problems” ended up horrific in its own right. “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Required reading for, like, what it means to be human. Or not.
Yeah. It didn’t work out too badly for him (I still know his sister/the family, it’s been over 15 years since he was expelled), but it seems like a really bad, not to mention weird, decision to make about an eight year old, especially as I never saw one of my schools or the district do it again (either they were given extra aids, or moved to the alternative school).
So, basically, this is now a legal, insurance and PR issue. Oh, and the Principal thinks that immigration status confers ‘non-person’ status on a minor victim of assault that absolves them of responsibility.
*Sigh* Sometimes, I hate being right…
It would be if anyone involved who was able to make it one was willing to do so. But I think this will be completely buried. They are already setting up for Sal to be blamed, and her parents will be okay with that.
If this was actually dealt with, Sal wouldn’t be who she is today.
This reminds me of my days being bullied in elementary school.
At first he was too good of a kid to have done anything wrong! Clearly he meant it when he said you just took it too seriously.
After a few months (or years) of that, they jumped to saying that I just needed to grow a tougher skin and let these things roll off my back.
But they skipped the middle part where they realized he was doing something wrong and punished him for it. They said that there was nothing they could do to stop bullies, but they had never even tried. And I hate that kind of thinking, because it keeps happening. People go unpunished because of the thought that the punishment won’t do anything to stop them. Even though they’ve never been punished before, and so there’s no evidence to suggest that! It’s infuriating, because all it is is leniency towards those that have had nothing but the benefit of the doubt their entire lives.
Can we string up the headmaster/mistress by their reproductive organs please?
Now, there’s no need for that. I doubt the reproductive organs are sufficient to support their weight effectively. The eye sockets, on the other hand…
Wow, Grav roulette makes this really creepy.
not sure if it was intentional (it depends in when this strip was written) but I’m getting some heavy parallels to that rapist who also happened to be a scholarship swimmer and got an offensively light sentence.
the words “but he has a bright future” were used
theb again it’s possible this phrase is tossed around a lot and I haven’t noticed before
it’s tossed around fairly regularly about young white male rapists (and non-sexual assault-ers (generally on LGBT people or POC)), but especially with brock whatever. it was weird/’lucky’ comic timing.
According to Willis, he wrote this just when that asshole was given a sentence and it’s just awful, awful serendipity that it got released when he did.
To get a good idea of when a strip was written, go back three months from the publishing date. So yeah, this was right around when rapist Brock Turner got sentenced. The fact that he just got out of prison yesterday is just a fan-fucking-tastic coincidence.
Although three months was what people were guessing he’d actually serve, too, so Willis might just have fan-fucking-tastic timing. Either way, the parallels are definitely there. The problem is, it’s NOT really referencing him specifically, it’s referencing the goddamn epidemic of injustice he represents.
What’s really happening in the last panel:
“Just try and call me Sally one more time..”
That does make a lot of sense. “Sally” comes from authority figures that right now, Sally is growing to distrust more and more by the minute. This may very well be the moment where she decides she does not like being called Sally anymore. “Sal” is her first step on establishing an identity of her own, rather than bowing and scraping to the very people that dismissed her best friend being seriously harmed.
so is Leland also Ryan and Amber and Sal are going to stomp on his dick until he literally dies?
“Yes, and to protect his possibly bright future you should teach him that there are things he shouldn’t do. If you teach him now while he is a minor, there is a chance he won’t go to o jail for assault or rape when he is older.”
So Leland’s family is super wealthy/influential? Who else is wealthy and influential? Billie’s dad! I wonder what the school would do if she beat up Leland instead (she’s probably at least still friends with Walky at this point, and if so likely Sal as well) after it’s obvious the adults in charge aren’t going to do anything about it?
lol jk they’d still punish Billie probs because she’d be the ‘instigator’
Maybe Billie’s dad could send Leland to live with those nice poor people that he helped relocate.
That would require that Billie’s dad be attentive enough to care about what happens to a friend of a friend of hers.
This seems unlikely, considering how hands-off he seems to be.
Yeah, I wasn’t really thinking Billie’s dad would do anything. Just that he’s got sufficient status that the school might be afraid of him making a stink if his little girl were to go after Leland.
Leland gets a pass after all that? That’s messed up. T.T
So, wow, that feels familiar. I remember being forced by my headmaster to awkwardly shake hands with my tormentor as a gentlemanly agreement. I also remember said tormentor getting a prize on prize day, and getting no applause.
A Capitalist based society encourages this – the holding of one human being as inherently better because they provide more value.
Also, Saul’s attempts to dress up for her parents in the present-day narrative now seems a little more disturbing,considering she was dressing up as her childhood self.
Okay, kudos to Willis here for the writing.
I mean, look, the principal’s an asshole, duh. And Sal has every right to be pissed.
But I know those lines. I know that speech. That’s the speech of someone that hates like fucking crazy that they’re saying it, but it’s the lines they have to say. It’s the words of a man that’s going to be reaching for his hidden bottle of whiskey as soon as the parents are away.
It would be so easy to frame it as “Sal’s indignant over bullshit that a racist principal is saying”. Kudos to Willis for giving it more nuance.
Yeah, I concur. Those are the words of someone who, best case scenario, knows that if he doesn’t say that he’s just gonna get fired and won’t change a thing because nobody will touch the rich kid. (Except for the “illegal” thing, that’s just pure asshole.)
I figure that the Principal is grasping for straws, looking for any reason to excuse the rich asshole’s actions. So, only one witness willing to talk, kid’s not a student, oooh she’s illegal that might help things, rich brat’s a good student, okay, maybe this will work…
I like the Principal’s speech. He knows he’s talking bullshit. And he hates it. But he does it, all the same. There you go, adults. BS like this happens just because we as adults, fear power, or influence, and yet, it’s all the same. Solutions need creativity there, not just enforcement or pleading.
A right is only as strong as its remedy. Sadly, with the authorities unwilling to enforce the remedy against Leland’s actions, Marcie’s rights become worthless in this case.
Ah, here we are. Sal’s idea that their mixed marriage parents liked Walky more than her because she’s darker always seemed kinda iffy to me (not saying it’s unrealistic, though, I honestly don’t know if that’s a thing and wouldn’t put it past people). Now we’re starting to get the full picture, the stuff Sal either doesn’t get or doesn’t want to: They (or at least Linda) like Walky better because he’s more willing to just let things go.
Now I’ll shut up and wait for the rest, because I’m sure Willis is more than capable of making me take what I just wrote and eat it.
I agree that the difference between Walky and Sal isn’t literally skin color, and I’m pretty sure Willis actually confirmed that they’re identical in that regard. It’s definitely an attitude difference between the two, and that is definitely what their parents see. It’s why the Walkertons treat their kids differently. Sal sees this as Walky acting ‘whiter’.
Personally, I think the difference isn’t that Walky lets things go easier, I think Sal just sees more nuance in these situations (her parents’ favouritism, the unsettlingly blatant racism in this scene) than Walky does, and that’s WHY she doesn’t let go so easy. Really, though, let’s assume I’m wrong and Sal is just more stubborn, plain and simple.
Why shouldn’t she be?
Don’t forget the lovely racist implications of them sitting there while Marcie is referred to as “possibly an illegal” and “the source of the problem”.
Walky, frankly, is more inclined to let this sort of shit slide because he’s less black. He identifies very little with his black heritage and doesn’t care much about issues of racial injustice.
Walky hangs out with white people, while Sal’s best friend is about to be banned from the playground where they play together because she might be an illegal immigrant. They have different perspectives informed by their unique racial experiences.
A couple pages where Walky speaks on the subject.
Oh god, not this again.
It’s not even slightly possible that Sal’s and Walky’s different attitudes are the result of their parent’s favoritism not the cause? Haven’t we seen enough to realize there really is something going on there? Do you know that “looking black” isn’t a matter purely of skin tone? Could there be a reason Sal keeps murdering her hair straight?
Do you really think Willis keeps harping on the topic just to mislead readers and it’s really all matter of Sal’s attitude?
Yes, they do, because they will grasp at ANY excuse to pretend that racism, colorism, prejudice, etc. aren’t the REAL cause of things.
Victim-blame much, Rex Vivat? For fucking SHAME.
Victim blame? The hell are you talking about? I’m saying that it’s not as simple as Sal paints it, not that it’s her fault or it isn’t a bad thing. And in case it wasn’t clear, I don’t consider being willing to let these things go to be a good trait.
Never considered the idea that she meant more than skin tone, though on hindsight I should have.
As for the other matter, while the favoritism probably reinforced the difference in attitude later on and probably caused a feedback loop, I doubt it was the first instance cause of it.
What Sal “doesn’t get” is that any of this is acceptable and that she should not make a fuss about it.
This is not anywhere near the kind of thing that should “just be let go”. If Leland had been punished and apologized for his actions, then it would be time for that. You may have noticed how the exact opposite of that is what’s happening. Not only will he go completely unpunished for something that could have put Marcie in the hospital, the people in charge are saying this is Marcie’s fault, as if trespassing and possibly being undocumented immigrant in any way made this okay. Angry is exactly how she should feel, and continue to feel about this.
Although, you probably are correct about one thing. Sal’s unwillingness to let things like this slide is almost certainly going to amplify their existing favoritism. She’s rocking the boat, and her persistence on this will no doubt be something they find “embarrassing”, while Walky will likely stay quiet about it and be a “good, obedient child”.
But Walky has perfectly good excuses for not standing up for Marcie or Sal. Their parents do not. If making a stink goes bad, there are other schools. The absolute bare minimum they could do if they were good parents is tell Sal in private that she did the right thing, and I doubt that will happen.
We don’t know why the Walkertons favor David. There may not be just one clear, simple reason.
What we do know is that Sal was right for not just “letting this go” and everybody else was wrong. This isn’t just about Marcie’s well-being, or the health of everybody else Leland might decide to attack – it’s also about his well-being. It’s not good for children to act like this with no consequences. It really does them harm. (Not that I’m sobbing for asshole Leland, but it’s the principle of the thing.)
Yay for victim shaming.
And then Sal murdered them all…the rest story is just a phantasy.
Only the blue panels are real.
No no no, deeper, from the diaphragm.
That school administrator is an asshole.
that’s putting it mildly.
“Red hot poker in the eye cam!”
The sad thing is that it is incredibly common in real life… There are countless stories of victim shaming and jerks getting away with what they have done only because they come from a white, rich and powerful family. I read the exact same reasons listed in this comic used by a lawyer in order for his client to avoid being sentenced to jail for rape.
Ah, yes, because bullies are just there, like some kind of atmospheric phenomenon, and if the rest of us would just smarten up and turn off our bully attractors they wouldn’t cause any trouble.
(Because bullies NEVer target isolated, anxious, depressed kids. Or visibly poor kids. Or visibly disabled kids. Or kids who are visibly different from the dominant social group in any of a number of ways. No, no, it’s the fault of the victim, being all different and protesting that their dignity and physical boundaries are being violated and stuff. Be just like everybody else or disappear, sweetie. Because the bullies run the world.)
I see Willis was reading [PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING] in the news when writing this one.
Yeah, this one sure was ripped from the ceaselessly repeating headlines.
Boy, I sure hope it becomes dated someday.
There are certain advantages to not remembering much before the age of thirteen. I’m so glad I don’t have any personal frame of reference for this sort of thing. As an adult, of course, I’ve heard and read plenty about it. At every age, on every level of authority. But no ugly memories being stirred up.
There really are, aren’t there? Like I know for a fact I was bullied in second grade to the point where my parents seriously considered pulling me from the daycare center where my bully had the opportunity to harass me (doing things like pulling my coat off I think? Or yanking my hood down I think I remember that and I think it was a problem because I could’ve choked) but I legitimately do not remember more than snippets of what happened. I don’t think I really understood what was going on at the time even, just that this kid was teasing me and grabbing my clothes and I did not want him to and he would not leave me alone.
I’m putting the pieces together in hindsight and abstractly it’s kind of horrifying but there’s no real emotion or memory just “oh yeah I was on a 504 plan even pre-diagnosis, oh yeah they would’ve known there was a SOMETHING even if they didn’t know autism, oh yeah the teachers probably just assumed I was overreacting like they did for my meltdowns and never cared that I was always being kind of isolated.”
Hm. I’m kind of happy that the kids who bullied me weren’t good students and I was. While this was part of the reason why they bullied me, it also tended to make teachers be on my side, and it got me rid of them after a few years, because they had to retake a class or go to another school, when they weren’t up to the current lessons any more.
And that’s why Marcie is mute. :/
I am too tired to read all the comments right now but… yeah.
In case there is anyone out there who doubts whether or not this is realistic, in my life, I got suspended for getting jumped and beat up at my locker from behind without provocation. Twice. My attackers got a warning in one case and detention in the other. After that, I stopped using my locker when anyone else was in the hallway. I got detention or in-school suspension for “being a tattle-tale” when I reported bullying several times. Once, I was tripped and landed face-first on the ground. Someone got on top of me and repeatedly smashed my face into the sharp ice and rocks until the area around my right eye looked like hamburger. I was told it was “probably an accident” and that the boy who did it was a nice kid who wouldn’t hurt anyone on purpose. I could go on, from my personal experience. And that’s just me (and most people who were victims of extended bullying I know can tell similar stories about authority fails). In general, when the perpetrator of bullying, harassment or sexual assault is a young white dude, they get off… if not absolutely scott-free, then very, very lightly. All of my bullies were straight white abled boys – wonder why they assumed the queer-coded autistic girl with a stutter was the source of the trouble?
My life is not an isolated case. Just looking at stuff which hit the news in the past few years, there’s also Brock Turner, and Ethan Crouch, and Graham James, and David Becker, and Sir Young, and Owen Labrie, and Will Frey, and Austin Zehnder, and Chester Thompson, and Austin James, the attackers of Rehtaeh Parsons, the white attackers in the Torrington High School rape case, Audrie Pott’s attackers, the attackers in the Steubenville High School rape case – where, memorably, the news coverage focused more on how these “good boys” with “promising futures” were having their “lives destroyed” by “what happened” rather than on what they did to the victim… I could go on here. These are literally just the cases I’m able to remember and find to confirm names of within the past 5 minutes.
But yea, long story short: When someone in authority is given the choice between actually investigating the rich abled straight white cis boy and just blaming the victim (who is probably one or more of poor, not straight, not a cis boy, not white, or disabled), they’ll blame the victim. The only time that’s different is if they have reason to believe that blaming the victim and sweeping it under the rug isn’t going to fly for some reason (There are three times I remember hearing about or seeing my school do anything more than brushing it under the rug in a bullying incident: One was when a student attacked another with a weapon in a shop class full of 30 students for literally no reason – I was there and saw the entire thing, it was literally, “Hey, can you hand me that screw?” and bam the other guy is swinging with the weapon. The second was when students had a fight so vicious it left blood smeared on the walls and ceiling and both of them broke bones – I didn’t see it so I don’t know what happened. The third one was when a student was beaten so badly he was hospitalized for three months – and they tried to blame the student who was beaten because gay panic. What do these incidents all have in common? They were severe enough that students at the school called the cops. Similarly-severe but unseen incidents never had cops called and had jack shit done beyond suspending the victim for “instigating trouble” or some similar bullshit. Cuz, y’know, if a gang ambushes you at your locker and beats the shit out of you, you must’ve done something to provoke them and if you won’t tell the principal what you did, obviously it was entirely your fault and you deserve all the punishment).
What I’m saying is: I get how Sal feels right now, so hard. How she feels – hurt at the assumption she’s unreliable and betrayal at the fact that the people who are supposed to have her back don’t and helpless, impotent rage born of a desire to fix this with the knowledge that she has neither the authority nor the favor from authority to be able to. I get it in the part of me that knows first hand that “seeing red” is not just an expression and how when you get filled with actual rage, everything seems to have this reddish haze over it.
It’s how I felt every single time I was the one who got hauled off to the principle’s office despite being the victim. Every time my retaliation in self-defense was treated as the problem, and not the months/years of harassment leading up to me telling someone else to fuck off. Every time someone in authority walked into a situation assuming I was the troublemaker, even if that assumption made abso-fucking-lutely zero objective sense (oh, yeah, teech, I totally was the one to start the fight with eight kids who outweigh me… Yep, all my fault, sure was! It’s almost like I have absolutely no instinct for self-preservation at all! */sarcasm*).
And then I’d bet her parents would turn around and monolog at her about how they’d always support her and they’d walk through fire for her and they’d die for her and she needs to tell them when she’s having trouble instead of just exploding over it and blah blah blah but it’s not actually true. They don’t have her back, and she knows it. But heaven forbid she come out and say it.
Meanwhile, Sal will be told people who abuse her and her friends are good people who wouldn’t abuse her and her friends without a reason. And if it happens too often for the “good people” excuse to fly, they’ll move on to the over-sensitive excuse: Sal’s just being over-sensitive. She needs to grow a thicker skin. And if that one fails, they’ll move on to the “you’re bringing it on yourself” routine. Can’t she and her friends act more normal?
Never, not once will they even consider doing anything about the bully. Because he’s a “good kid” from a “good family.”
… I wanna give Kid Sal and Kid Marcie a hug and read Little Leland the riot act before giving him a detention and making him work on an essay about how falls can hurt people as part of the detention.
*… basically buries you in appropriate sympathetic gestures*
So many sympathetic gestures.
Yeah, my bullying was less severe and less obvious, but looking back on it I’m pretty sure the authorities knew and did nothing until the moment they absolutely had to over it because I was the obviously Weird Kid who was prone to meltdowns over things they deemed minor and therefore this was probably another inappropriate overreacting again.
That is rough. Just the idea of a teacher punishing a student for being a “tattle tale” is sickening.
I had one teacher who didn’t.
Long story short: 7th grade, I got sent to the hall for calling a dude (one of my bullies) some names after he went to the teacher over it. I’m in the hall and I’m in angry tears and the teacher comes out to read me the riot act and she can see that I’m furious and angry and to her credit she asked why rather than pulling the “waterworks won’t get you anywhere, stop trying to be manipulative” schtick and I gave a huge rant about how that kid had been making my life miserable since I moved there and I retaliate once and I’m the problem?! And she was a new-to-the-school teacher so she said she didn’t know the history and all she could do was respond to what she saw at the time – but that she’d have my back if I ever told her… And I laughed in her face and said, “Yeah, right. You say you will, but you won’t. Nobody ever does.”
And not only did she not yell at me or send me to the office over that, she got me some tissues and gave me permission to go to the bathroom and take “as much time” as I needed to collect myself before going back to class. She also kept the other kid back and had a chat with him after class – not sure what she said to him, but he laid off me after that.
That newbie (literally her first year of teaching out of school) teacher handled bullying better than any of the other teachers I encountered in my schooling. I dunno if she knows how much her actually having my back that year helped.
Not just listening, but taking action? That teacher deserves a damn medal.
I hope she does know, and that the administration didn’t try to stamp that out of her to avoid making waves, because that is the kind of teacher the world needs more of.
Someone doing the right things shouldn’t be an act deserving of a medal, because it shouldn’t be a rarity. Nice that at least one person did something right.
This makes me so sad and angry. There is something seriously fucked up about an education system where things like this can happen to children.
“The following strip is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event.”
Any semblance to actual events and people is neither intentional nor coincidental but unavoidable.
No animals were harmed in the making of this comic.
Comic transcript, including subtext:
“The problem is, the girl Leland allegedly” even though there are multiple witnesses “attacked doesn’t go to school here. She’s not a student” and therefore doesn’t give me any money, so screw her.
“We don’t know if she’s homeschooled or if she’s an– an– an… illegal” I mean, just look at her skin tone, “but it’s just not our liability” even though it occurred in our property and it involved a kid we were responsible for.
“And Leland, he’s… well, he’s a good student. A very good student” kisses all the right asses. “Good family” old name, much money. “Very promising future” making use of his family wealth and connections to avoid punishment. “It doesn’t seem like him at all” because we’re really really blind when it comes to wealthy people.
“And just because your daughter” and like 4 other people “claims he… did something” like assault “is no reason to…” threaten our funding from his parents “to shine a spotlight here” and let everyone know what a little shitstain Leland really is. “There’s a lot at risk” like our funding, and the poor bully’s immunity to consequences.
“Frankly, we feel the best solution” for our bottom line and appearance of respectability “is to to dissuade Sally’s friend from trespassing on school property. She’s kind of the source of all this” because this is USAmerica, and therefore it’s the brown girl’s fault, not the white boy’s.
This comment filed under “I really wish I were joking”, entry seven gazillion and change.
Ooh, ooh, I forgot to add the part “look at the potential Leland has to become a big name in sports” (and rape headlines).
“Jeez, just come out and say the ‘N’ word, why don’t’cha?” That’s what I think or say whenever someone is saying racist shit but is being all implicit or “nice” about it.
Marcie isn’t black, she’s brown – I assume she’s of Mexican descent. She’s the one that’ll rule USAmerica if you don’t elect Trump!
Hillary will put a Taco Truck in every corner! Vote Trump!
Or worse, Chik-Fil-A.
Fuck, that’s what I get for reading at 9 in the morning. But you know what I’m getting at, right?
Isn’t it great? Yet another reason to vote Hillary.
Convenient, constant access to tacos. Viva Clinton!
Nothing wrong with a nice taco.
I think in this case it would be the “W” word. Which I’m not sure if I can say because even if it’s not nearly as hatefully charged as the N word is still offensive to many.
Is it good that I don’t know one that starts with a vowel?
Anyone else think that Leland is actually the guy who attacked Joyce? They look reasonably similar and this flashback is happening right after Amber spotted him at DeSanto’s rally.
They look weirdly similar, but it’s established they’re different men. The tags of the attempted rapist say Ryan. Leland is new.
This just makes me so angry. Well done, Willis.
bongo you said what.
When authority fails you… 😀
Haha, I was not even aware there was a profanity filter. Right on.
For a while I thought the people commenting here were actively typing “bongo” instead of, well, “bongo.”
Some are. I’ve actually started using it elsewhere. :0
Some here have started even censoring themselves on that – the occasional reference to “percussion instrument”.
^ This. I usually just type bongo and occasionally make oblique reference to other percussion instruments or drumming surfaces. XD
I wonder if the “C” word (rhymes with “runt”) comes out as “Congo.” Don’t really feel like typing it, though.
one letter off
Not so much a profanity filter — we can still say fuck and shit to our hearts’ content — but mostly a filter for overused and tiresome phrases.
Sounds-like-beach was thrown around a little too freely when Roz chewed Joyce out in class. And bongo is a great word. Although I mistook it for some obscure Aussie slang at first.
Another time, just about everyone in the comments decided, at the same time, to quote Raul Julia in the Street Fighter movie. So now, if you try to write “for me, it was [the day between Monday and Wednesday]”, it’ll get replaced by… nothing, I think?
I don’t remember if this filter was removed or not: Spider-Car. Anyway, it’s a reference to Shortpacked! that was memed up to eleven but doesn’t have any relevance in the Dumbiverse.
And finally, a term for someone who fights for social justice, often used by assholes to describe people who don’t like assholes, gets replaced with “glistening phallus”.
There may be more that I’m not aware of, though.
Ooh, let me try that second one right now:
“For me, .”
Well played, Willis.
I fell victim to it months ago. You never really have much opportunity to use it. I normally end up sympathizing with those that discover it.
Also I’ve taken to typing out the instrument. And maybe the old Shortpacked! meme filter went away? Granted, it’s possible that I just didn’t know what was being typed originally.
I know that expression on Sal’s face speaks for quiet fury and the loss of faith in authority authority figures.
But I really hope that expression also speaks for Sal’s plans for Leland’s shallow grave by the train tracks.
I know where she can get a good deal on a hacksaw.
I’m seeing a couple of comments in the thread that seem to have trouble understanding what’s going on with this teacher/principal, so I’ll whitesplain/translate for you:
“The problem is, we think minority children are automatically trouble, but I’m not going to say that directly in front of a well-off biracial couple. Leland is one of our good ol’ (white) boys, so since he clearly doesn’t get in trouble at home for this, we’re not going to make trouble here, and we’ll pretend that your (little liar black) girl isn’t in the room while we indirectly call her a liar. Keep that little Mexican away from our school so your little black kid doesn’t act up again.”
Doesn’t sound quite so “diplomatic” when people say what they mean instead of what’s the “acceptable” thing to say.
No we understand we just don’t approve or have been in sal’s position.
Yeah this’d be sickening even if race and gender WEREN’T at play in the dynamics here. Fuck this corrupt bastard, and good on Sal for noticing what’s up right away.
Kids are a lot smart than adult in some respects.
The crazy thing? A lot of people in the comments on this and Patreon mention Sal’s status as a poor kid. You know, something she’s manifestly NOT. She’s a private schooled rich girl. It’s just that people have unconsciously coded her otherwise.
I don’t recall that her family’s actual economic status has ever explicitly come up in the comic, but it definitely seems like they’re at least middle class, probably upper-middle if this is a private school, especially since Billie’s parents are definitely rich, and she’s going there too.
I’m a bit alarmed now that you bring this up, because I’ve actually caught myself thinking about Sal as though she were poor, but never Walky. I don’t seem to have any trouble at all immediately remembering Walky’s actual background.
I’m definitely not okay with my brain doing this. Especially since there hasn’t been any situation so far where it would be at all relevant if she were poor or not.
Sal has what we are programmed to consider a poor kid’s attitude and backstory – in addition to being the “black” one of the twins.
Their mom’s connection with the dean also suggests a higher status, though it’s not proof of anything.
Luckily schools are getting better now, but….
Even for someone like me, that tries not to automatically pin stuff on racism and homophobia, that tries to see if there’s other explanations….
Yeah, when it comes to schools. It’s always racist or homophobic. Or even just… Schools (maybe not so much now) seem to always be against the victim, along the lines of “tough it up” and “we dealt with worse back in our days.”
I mean I’m not a minority or anything, but I was a tiiiiiny sensitive kid that got bullied a fair amount, and the few times I fought back, I was to blame for not just putting up with some “harmless horseplay” or whatever they called it.
Ironically I also went to probably the only non racist private school in existence, but I know from other people how fucked up schools can be with race and orientation.
Carlton: Dad, if you were a police man, and you saw a car driving at two miles an hour, wouldn’t you stop it?
Philip: I asked myself that question the first time I was stopped. Good night, son. (he goes upstairs)
Carlton: I would stop it.
Such a magnificently fucked up (and true) episode.
Personally I would. But only to make sure the driver wasn’t drunk, high, or in distress. I’d render any aid the required (which I would expect to most likely be giving them some directions since one likely cause for going so slow is being lost) and then let them be. But yeah, as I recall it was pretty obvious to everyone but Carlton that cop was a racist fuckstick.
Show had a lot of good moments. The end of the one where Will’s dad left suddenly always gets me. Be there always, or not at all. Never that, just Never That.
…Welp, I need to murder an entire schoolboard. ‘scuse me…
Well, if Shortpacked is any indication, we can take comfort knowing Leland’s “promising future” consists of ranting in toy stores and suffering from glow-in-the-dark piss.
I’m not sure if this has been said before, but maybe Marcie and/or her parents actually are undocumented, and that’s why she isn’t in college — no loans?
Ugh. This reminds me of that Fascist Christian school I went to. The rich chosen families kids got away with murder while those who were merely middle class or there on scholarship were brutalized.
It is like this everywhere. If you have money, the world is yours to do whatever you want at the expense of anyone that gets in your way.
BTW, it’s very likely Leland’s family aren’t necessarily rich. It’s every bit as likely a middle class white kid can get away bullying Marcie and a rich black girl gets ignored.
oh boy. Sal’s first formative experience with racism/classism. of course the well off white boy wouldn’t do anything wrong.
Fuck this shit!!
I resonate with this. There was a boy in my orchestra class who was known for sexually harassing every girl he came in contact with. I don’t mean unwanted comments, he’d run up behind you and hump you.
He punched me in the leg when I told him to get off me, and he left a huge bruise.
Mom took it to the vice principal, who said ‘His family is very wealthy, and they regularly attend [Whatever Church]. There’s nothing we can do.’
To which mom replied ‘Well, why didn’t you TELL me what church we have to go to, to get anything DONE in this damn place?!’ It… escalated from there. I don’t remember what happened, this was nearly 20 years ago, but he finally stopped after some not-so-vague threats.
I hope parents these days go to these pro-bully, pro-abuse administrators with recording devices in hand — in many states they wouldn’t even have to inform them.
Is it wrong that it feels like you left out the good part?
I don’t think Terah knew the good parts. Mom must’ve left those out. She sounds bad-ass, though.
Movie version the mom is played by Sandra Bullock?
And so it begins.
In my elementary school there were a series of actions that a student had to take before they could report a bully. They then needed to demonstrate that they did it, which was nigh impossible since these steps ammounted to attempting to talk it out with the bully, running away, and when that failed, attempting to talk it ouy again.
In high school policy was that everyone involved in a fight would be suspended even if you only got hit. We were explicitly told this by the administration.
no san diego comic-con, the sorries
Who should be doodled inside Book 6?
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