Tag Archives: cyber-bullying

Now, about the new first lady …

With all this chatter and clatter about Russian hackers, conflicts of interest, White House nepotism and controversial Cabinet picks, I want to look briefly at an individual who stands near all this commotion.

Melania Trump, I’m waiting to hear more from you.

The incoming first lady put forward an interesting and provocative goal for her first ladyship: cyber bullying.

She made her statement, drawing some rather mixed responses across the land.

Why not start with your husband, Mrs. Trump, who campaigned as a primo cyber bully through his use of Twitter as an insult machine? Many of us thought and said as much in reaction to Melania’s initiative.

But there’s another reality to consider. She’s actually picked a legitimate and noble issue to pursue as first lady.

Young people are victimized by Internet bullies, she said. It must stop. We must educate our young people about how destructive such conduct can become and the consequences of bullying.

To that extent, I stand 100 percent in support of what Melania Trump wants to accomplish.

She’ll assume her place on the national stage on Jan. 20, when her husband takes the oath office to become the 45th president. It will be time for the new first lady to turn up the volume on her worthwhile effort on behalf of young people — around the world!

But … first things first. Tell your husband, Mrs. Trump, to knock off his ridiculous and potentially dangerous Twitter tirades.

Irony clouds Melania’s message


I hope y’all are sitting down.

I’m about to say something positive about Melania Trump, wife of the Republican presidential nominee who — in my view — is totally unfit and unqualified to occupy the office he is seeking.

She spoke this week about cyber bullying and said she intends to make that her signature issue if she becomes first lady.

The issue is a noble one. The goal is equally noble. She has articulated a serious problem in contemporary society. Children shouldn’t be bullied in any context, she said, particularly by faceless and nameless abusers who hide their identity in the vast reaches of cyberspace.

The problem, though, is the messenger. Melania Trump is married to a serial cyber bully. Donald Trump has used his Twitter account to bully and insult women, Gold Star parents, Muslims, Hispanics, immigrants … you name ’em, he’s bullied ’em.

The irony of Melania’s first lady theme is too obvious to ignore.

Still, the issue — standing alone and separate from the context in which she delivered it — is a worthy one.

Matt Labrum, high school coach of the year

I hereby nominate Matt Labrum as U.S. high school football coach of the year.

Labrum’s team hasn’t won more games than any other team. It hasn’t piled up more points or done anything extraordinary on the field. No. Labrum has earned high praise for something he did for his players because of some off-the-field behavior that Labrum deemed inappropriate.

He suspended his team until they had earned the right to take the field for homecoming week.


Labrum coaches the varsity team at Roosevelt High School in Union, Utah. The players had been showing poor attitudes, a poor work ethic and many of the players had gotten entangled in allegations of cyber-bullying of other young people.

Labrum’s response? He suspended the entire team. He told them in the locker room. The players reportedly left the locker room in tears. Their lives were “shattered,” their dreams dashed.

Too bad for that, Labrum said. He looked at the response as an affirmation of the tough love he was administering. “We looked at it as a chance to say, ‘Hey, we need to focus on some other things that are more important than winning a football game,'” Labrum told the Deseret News. “We got an emotional response from the boys. I think it really meant something to them, which was nice to see that it does mean something. There was none of them that fought us on it.”

Here’s what I think ought to happen: Every coach in America, in every sport at any level of competition should rip a page out of Matt Labrum’s “playbook” that deals with how to handle athletes who misbehave. I realize it’s too much to ask those who coach professional athletes to do this, but those who coach “student-athletes” have a model to emulate.

If there was an award for coaches who enact this kind of action against their own team, then it ought to have Matt Labrum’s name on it.

He’s my choice for U.S. high school football coach of the year.