Wednesday, March 30, 2011

standing up to the bullies

One of the stories on today's 60 minutes on TV3:

"Mikayla Edwards, just 13 years old, was beaten senseless by four schoolmates - hit with fists, feet and a toilet door. Today she is under 24-hour care at home and she doesn’t know when, or whether, she will ever go back to the classroom.

"Mikayla is just one of a number of victims of girl-on-girl bullying in New Zealand. She and her mother talk to 60 Minutes reporter Karen McCarthy." Stuff website story

There isn't anything new about this type of incident of course; it has existed for many years. The problem is that it gets worse as the people who ought to be doing something, do nothing.  Adults may say, "yeah well that's the way kids are" and the Principal of this school, Morrinsville College, when interviewed on TV was a typical example of the "why are you talking to me for, what do you expect me to do?" dull, reluctant middle manager, the sort of person that most of us have experienced at some time when dealing with officialdom. 

He claimed that the school has a duty to educate pupils - he also has a duty to enforce rules and provide a safe environment for his pupils, something he has clearly abrogated by not removing the young criminals.  "They will go on to haunt the streets and end up in prisons if we don't provide education," he said.  He didn't seem to realise that by not teaching these little brats a hard lesson they will probably end up in prison anyway.

More often than not school bullies if unreformed will go on to be vandals, burglars, partner-abusers, road pigs, and workplace bullies - and that affects the population at large.

One of the things you realise fairly quickly when you stand up to them, is that most bullies are also cowards; and when you put them on the receiving end instead, they will leave you alone - although sometimes you will need help doing that.  There are plenty of legal ways available of putting bullies in their place.

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