Friday, March 18, 2011

Bullying

Patrick over at Popehat points me toward a video that's got the internet all atwitter (I've since seen it pop up through two other unrelated blogs). This video shows a kid getting bullied. The bully throws no less than four punches, at which point the kid on the receiving end decided he wasn't going to take it any more and bodyslams the much smaller bully, probably breaking his ankle in the process. It appears that according to the newsies I'm supposed to be disturbed. As someone who spent years of my life receiving similar abuse, all I can find it in myself to do is cheer - the little twerp had it coming.

Schools as currently run do little to nothing to stop bullying, and I'm not sure that there is much they really can do. If we expect the school administration to come down hard on any suspected bullying, they'll inevitably be conned into punishing kids who have done nothing. The current accepted method of waiting until the bullying escalates into full-on "fight" and then punishing all participating parties, however, is asinine. The only way it becomes a "fight" is if the bullied kid defends himself. That's how I got detention several times in sixth grade - I wasn't about to let myself get pummeled. Unfortunately, I don't have a better idea for how schools should handle it.

On the other hand, I do know that the best way to stop bullying is for the bullied kid to defend himself in a way that scares the pants off the bully. I never found myself forced to fight hard enough to do lasting damage to the bullies (unlike the kid in the video). But I did find that my life in junior high got a lot easier after I pinned one little shit of a bully to the wall of the locker room by his throat and explained to him that I was sick of his crap; I didn't actually hurt him, but I did demonstrate that I was both capable and willing to do so if he continued.

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