A classic Christmas special and the song which inspired it promoting bullying? Honestly?
Odd as it sounds, there’s someone who thinks such may be the case.
Long Island University instructor Dr. George Giuliani says the 1964 holiday classic tale depicts bullying because of Rudolph’s nose – which glows red. From being rejected by his own father, Donner, to initially being excluded from Santa’s team of reindeer and being mocked by other reindeer, Rudolph does overcome his obstacles and guides Santa’s team of reindeer on a very foggy Christmas Eve night, and “then all the reindeer loved him.”
According to Dr.Giuliani, who wrote No More Bullies at the North Pole about the famous tale, “There is a parallel between Rudolph and most special education or exceptional children, and every child in the world who has ever been mocked or bullied.Rudolph is exceptional, just as children with any emotional, learning or physical disability are. With Santa’s approval, Rudolph was treated unfairly and consistently offended, mocked and bullied by others.”
While both Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Dr.Giuliani’s book have happy endings, one point remains clear in both: our red-nosed hero went through many trials and tribulations to gain acceptance.
“Also found in the story are incidents of sexism, favoritism, exclusion and hypocritical behavior, among other negative behavior,” said Dr. Giuliani, who noted that the word “misfit” was used 27 times in the half-hour TV special.
Does a 47-year-old television program about a special reindeer accepting and overcoming being different depict bullying as being “okay”, or – as some people perceive, that it’s actually delivering an opposite message to viewers – though some people are different on the outside, they can possess the same inner traits as others and bullying is not acceptable?
I guess it depends on perceptions of each viewer. What do you think?
No More Bullies at the North Pole is published by CGRC Publishers of America. For more information, visit www.learningaboutbullying.com..