I just saw the video that’s been doing the rounds this morning, where a bullied kid has had enough and stands up for himself. I’ll include a link here, but really, I don’t suggest watching it. It’s not pretty.
However, this video provoked a strong response from me. Frankly, as a victim of high school bullying myself, I have a lot of vehement opinions on the subject. Even thinking about those who bullied me in high school can still upset me… and I’ve been out of high school for a long time.
Frankly, I only see two reasons why this video is getting any airtime:
- The bully has his ankle broken by the tormented kid.
- The principal’s (insane) comments that both boys are equally at fault and the tormented boy should have found an alternate resolution.
Frankly, I have only one thing to say to the principal: You’re way out of your league. If you think bullies respond to anything but retribution, you have no business dealing with children.
Otherwise, my overwhelming response is: Good for the kid who stood up for himself! I understand violence is not the answer to anything – which is why I was beat on as a kid. If you don’t defend yourself, the bullies know they’re able to torment with impunity.
As a general rule, I foolishly listened to those people in my life who spouted stuff like the principal in the video. Consequently, I didn’t defend myself and the tormenting never ended, putting me through 6 years of hell. The one time I had had enough, I wasn’t able to win the fight, meaning it wasn’t a deterrent. I wasn’t a big enough back then to pile drive my tormentors… but oh, I wished I had been. It also didn’t help that the outcome of the fight was for me to be punished equally with my tormentor.
To the bullied kid: Thank you – In the same circumstances, I wish I could have done something other than take the punches. I’m glad you had the strength to defend yourself. I don’t condone violence, but I understand and know that any less measure would have been ineffective.
To the bully: You were trying to hurt someone intentionally and it back fired. Think about the consequences of your actions next time – and empathize with the kid who’s nose you tried to break. If you’d have kicked him in the ankle and broken it instead of punching him, he’d have suffered the pain you’re experiencing now. Why did you want to inflict that on someone else?
All in all, there’s no room for bullying in the classroom or outside. The age of the kids or the size of the kids doesn’t matter. While all of the bullied kids may enjoy the schadenfreude, I think we need to address the bigger issue here. Bullies feed on the attention they get when they bully – if the kids around weren’t enabling it, it would simply evaporate. This isn’t just between the bully and the bullied, but all of the kids in that school who watched, clapped, cheered and even video taped stuff like this.
Common Mr Principal, I think it’s time you educated the kids in your school about bullying – and maybe get off your sorry ass and do something pro-active about the next time. Punishing the two kids who came off the worse from the incident is not a long term (or a short term) solution.