Letters to the Editor (July 2012)

Children who bully often become bosses who bully

I want to comment on the workplace bullying article. What happens to children who bully? They become bosses who bully. Literature supports that if a “target” (the person the bully chooses) goes to HR with a complaint of workplace bullying, the chances are slim that there will be a positive outcome for the target. Targets are often consciencious, dedicated employees.

Over time, co-workers pull away from the “target” as they do not want to be seen with the out-of-favor employee. Bullying is often a reason for an EAP referral in my private practice and is certainly an area for Social Workers advocacy. Good thing we’re here.

Diane Adelson, LCSW, ACSW,
Colchester, Conn.

Obama deserves credit, but also to be held accountable

As a 43-year member of NASW, I feel an obligation to comment on the association’s glowing endorsement of Barack Obama. There is no question that President Obama led efforts that resulted in significant actions related to areas of deep concern to our profession. He deserves credit for these efforts.

At the same time, however, President Obama engages in practices that are antithetical to the values and beliefs of our profession. Of particular concern in this regard is the president’s emerging “light foot print” strategy in Afghanistan. This strategy focuses on the use of unmanned drones to kill individuals identified by the president in a list as “key targets.” “Taking out” these targets is a central element in the “War Against Terror.”

The creation of such a list is incompatible with the profession’s commitment to the dignity and value of each person. While our profession condemns the death penalty, we endorse a candidate who targets individuals for killing.

The NASW Code of Ethics requires that we individually and collectively advocate for social justice. I strongly believe that while we acknowledge the positive accomplishments of President Obama, we must also hold him accountable for his systematic violation of basic human rights and demand needed change.

James D. Allen Jr., Ph.D.
St., Louis, Mo.

Health care, contraception should not be denied

I was very confused by the letter by Vickie Leff entitled “Help Women by Empowering, not Patronizing, Them.” (June 2012.) I’m not sure I understand how ensuring that women have health care and access to contraception for whatever reason their doctor writes them a prescription, is patronizing. I don’t believe the world will end if women do not get birth control. In fact, I think it would have quite the opposite effect.

More and more unwanted children would be born into this world which would make for a higher population, not to mention more cases of child abuse and neglect and more work for social workers in the foster care program.

I guess the “fear mongering” could be finding out your father was a rapist and your mother had no choice but to have you because she was not entitled to health care or contraception, but I don’t believe that was mentioned in Elizabeth Clark’s editorial. I thought the basic concepts of the NASW were related to the Golden Rule — do unto others as you would have done unto you. I do not believe this to be a liberal or conservative bias — it is a basic tenet of society. I guess if you do not wish to have health care or do not want access to certain prescriptions, then you feel the way Ms. Leff feels and would deny these things to yourself and other women.

Betsy Schindler, LCSW-C,
Baltimore, Md.