Bully for her!
Our parents must start to tell their children when someone says no, it is no. We only sometimes refer to no in rape cases, but it is in every single aspect of our life . . . . When someone says leave me alone, leave them alone . . . .– The mother of a five-year-old victim of bullying, who broke her arm in her attempt at escape.
IS?THERE NO?WAY for a child to escape being bullied? Maybe; maybe not.
Maybe not if the school principal procrastinates; or is himself or herself afraid to act; or wishes to keep the unsavoury and traumatic practice secret for the good name of the institution. For sure, this keep it between parent and principal just will not work!
If we are truly serious about zero tolerance of this barbarity among school pupils and students, then we will speak out on the rooftops. As I have argued before, hush-hush conferences with the principal and ad hoc mercy committees just don’t cut it.
Zero tolerance cannot remotely mean suffering upon the victim by a wretchedly wicked and a cruelly transgressing hand, while the perpetrator is given “counselling” and handed some Bible verses.
Every time a child is bullied at school, its parents should inform the headteacher – and simultaneously the police and the media. Waiting until the last minute, when all else seems to have failed at the principal’s desk, to involve the cops and rush to the newspaper, increases the risk of serious injury to the bullied.
Ask the irate mother whose five-year-old now nurses a broken arm.
Just when we thought that bullying was working its way out of the school system, we have to be told vividly of a tot seeking to escape a beating by a classmate and accompanying “army”, and falling to a fracture: a broken arm, in two places.
One relief for the little one is that she will be transferred to another school, away from the bully accused of making her fall. But, what other bully awaits her in that new place?
The young perpetrators of these crimes of violence upon the person should be sent to classes at the Government Industrial School, at worst; to the Psychiatric Hospital, at best – and a parent or guardian with them. Relying on the nudges of anti-violence television promos is clearly not bringing the change in behavioural patterns hoped for. Of course, the TV prodding is rooted in a philosophy of behavioural protagonists, that the more you expose the deviant to repeated instructive messages of positiveness and well-being, the more they will become responsible children, even more responsible citizens, and eventually angels. Poppycock!
And why is the poor five-year-old being bullied? According to her mother, because she often does better at her schoolwork than the “li’l bully”. And on this very last occasion, the alleged offence comes after the little girl shares grapes with her class teacher.
How much more crass can one get?
A startling disappointing tone in this latest episode comes from a Parent-Teacher Association official who, while admitting not being “fully versed” on the alleged incident, declared that she did not know the bullying was any worse at the school than anywhere else.
We will accept the PTA officer’s position that no one should condone bullying, but does her comparison spell zero tolerance?
I acknowledge teachers are mostly hard-working, dedicated professionals; the bedrock of our intellectuality. I hold them in high esteem; and wish to continue to do so, if they just would not become invisible when bullying raises its sinful arm.
If teachers fear dealing with the bullies in their charge, we will see graduating selfish ruffians and rogues who do not really belong in civil society.
Can a child then escape being bullied? Yes, if its parent and teacher would insist it not grow up to be a bully.
How many more broken arms will there be before the bullying demon is exorcised?
• Ridley Greene is a Caribbean multi-award winning journalist. Email [email protected]