Reindeer Blames

Published January 3, 2012

Schools may violate anti-bullying policies by letting students sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or view the 1964 film, according to a Long Island University professor. Some parents agree.

“We just watched it the other night and I was telling my kids that’s not how we treat our friends,” one parent said.

But a psychologist disagreed. “No, I don’t think he’s being bullied,” he said. “I think the problem lies with Santa. He’s just not hugging this poor defenseless thing.”

He continued: “I think the idea that you can take something as innocent and as nice as ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and pull some kind of psychological or sociological pathology and place it on there–I think this guy has too much time on his hands.”

Is it a manual for bullying, or just a story? Judge for yourself:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Had a very shiny nose,
And if you ever saw it,
You would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names;
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve,
Santa came to say,
‘Rudolph, with your nose so bright,
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?’

Then how the reindeer loved him,
As they shouted out with glee,
‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,
You’ll go down in history.’

Sources: “Does ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ Promote Bullying?”KDKA (Pittsburgh), December 6, 2011; lyrics here