EDITORIAL – We must hold that only the bad is a bully
Being bullied by a serial bully is equivalent to being stalked, or being battered by a partner, or being abused as a child, and should be accorded the same gravity. – Tim Field, world authority on bullying and psychiatric injury, and author of the best-selling Bully In Sight (1997).
BULLYING drips with barbarism. It is a pastime thatought not to find comfort among our people – least of all, our children.
It was thus appalling to have to experience on national television the dehumanizing video scenes of a self-effacing teen being taunted and spurred on to embarrassment – with the help of a switch.
In these days when discouragement of violence against the person is being promoted day in, day out, it speaks to the insensitivity of some youths to the very rights of the child that ensure their own security and safety.
That the incident could draw enough bystanders – witnesses, extras (call them what you may) – as the video portrays it, and not one person would endeavour to put an end to the evil, or at the very least appeal to decency, kindness or common sense, is an indictment of parents who are obviously making no effort to instil the values believed to make us wholesome and of purpose.
Coercing another to clean one’s shoe, and reinforcing the act with the threat of a whipping in public before peers is a wicked and cruel deed unbefitting of secondary school students.
Forced labour is just not kosher!
In addition, the realities of today’s teen world point to the ever increasing possibility that bullying will have tragic consequences for the victim – and for the perpetrator should the intended victim strike back.
Bullying has become much harsher. It might start with name-calling and “friendly” teasing, but could branch into cyberbullying and supercrass public humiliation.
The bully adds his friends to the mix and soon the victim is being thrashed by several others too.
If we are to go by the video on CBCTV on Tuesday night, our bullied teen did not suffer physically beyond the sting of the switch; but still it never should have been, and circulation of the evil by Facebook was the rubbing of the salt into the wound.
Is there a way for a child to avoid being bullied? Probably not. But there is a way for a child not to be a bully. His parents must raise him not to be one.