EDITORIAL – We can’t hide the bullying any longer
Someday I’ll be living in a big old city / And all you’re every gonna be is mean / Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me / And all you’re ever gonna be is mean.– Taylor Swift, from her hit Mean.
THE?BULLYING?SCHOOLBOYS, recently videotaped and posted on Facebook for all to see, would have faced their principal and board of management, in the company of their parents, yesterday – if everything went to plan. Disciplinary action they could look forward to.
The question is: What kind of punishment would the school board determine as fitting? Would it ever satisfy the victim and his parents?
More importantly, what is to become of the shamed boy who was forced to surrender his dignity in plain sight before the bravado of noisy bullies?
Our young student was being bullied by his tormentors for being “dumb” – dumb enough to capitulate and go to the standpipe to better clean shoes he was ordered to. In fact, he is not so dumb. Ignoble as it was, his deed may have saved him from the severity of a beating. Who knows?
The dumbness actually falls on the bullies. That is why they have had to face a board in circumstances that must have been uncomfortable at best.
This, of course, is far from the first time a school student has been bullied and the school authorities have moved to make the guilty explain their actions.
Still we applaud the principal of the school involved for taking steps toward engendering reflection by the guilty, suggesting penalty (whatever it might be) and looking toward mitigation and hopefully closure.
But we choke on his attack on the media for highlighting this awful act. While we sympathize with the head over the tarnishing incident, it is not the media’s fault that the bullying was done by his students. And the charge that his school was “unfairly treated” by CBCTV is really stretching the reasonable.
The station cannot be so accused for showing a clip of the bullying in a report where the Minister of Education himself is condemning bullying in all schools. On top of it all, we remain unaware that the principal’s school was named by the media.
Truthfully, we cannot continue to live in a cocoon. Bullying must be rooted out of every school. Making fellow students the butt of teasing and shoving them through the walk of shame must never ever again be swept under the carpet.