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Norman councilman explains anti-bullying vote

Norman City Councilman Dave Spaulding says he didn't support a bullying prevention proclamation this week because he believes it was not about bullying but was, instead, being used by others to promote their cause.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Published: October 26, 2012
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A city councilman who voted against a bullying prevention proclamation said he opposes bullying but does not support a proclamation that is being used as a vehicle to promote a cause.

Dave Spaulding of Ward 5 said he thinks a proclamation that declares October as National Bullying Awareness Month in Norman is an effort on the part of the gay community to limit free speech.

The proclamation is “a first step” toward ordinances that would outlaw and criminalize speech that opposes the gay community's ideas, Spaulding said.

“Bullying, in the true sense of the word, is not what we are talking about here,” he said.

Instead, Spaulding said, the word has been “hijacked and used as a marketing tool” to promote the gay community's agenda.

“If you want to promote something, you attach something to something else that you can't say no to,” he said.

“It's like the man who is asked, ‘Do you still beat your wife?' It's a lose-lose question.”

The city council voted 8-1 Tuesday for a mayor's proclamation that denounced bullying and called for support of efforts by schools, police, faith groups and individuals to prevent bullying.

Spaulding later spoke during miscellaneous discussion about his vote, calling it an “uncomfortable” topic to address.

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by Jane Glenn Cannon
Senior Reporter
A native of Oklahoma, Jane Glenn Cannon is an award-winning reporter who has covered everything from crime, courts and government to entertainment and features. She wrote a popular personal column for many years. She is a former associate writer...
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