Wednesday, December 08, 2004


6ft 7in Schoolboy is Bullying Victim

Fifteen year old Mathew Ridley, who stands 6 foot 7 inches tall had to withdraw from his school in Swindon, Wiltshire, England after three years of bullying by classmates. The bullying went on for three years, and took a devastating toll on young Mathew's self esteem.

In terms of fighting back, Mathew was afraid of inflicting serious damage on the other boys who were much smaller than him. He also did not want any kind of criminal record, since he's an aspiring policeman.

And while I'm on the subject of bullying, there's a special, government sponsored anti-bullying program in Britain. Part of it consists of students wearing wristbands that say "Beat Bullying" which is seen by some as causing more bullying:

"We were afraid that they would make kids wearing them a target.

"Bullies will find any excuse - but I'm disgusted something with such good intentions should end up being abused like this."

The wristband campaign was launched by Radio 1 at the beginning of the anti-bullying week on November 21.

Launching the first Anti- Bullying week, the schools minister, Stephen Twigg, said : "Bullying creates misery for thousands of children and it is crucial that they know they are not alone.

"Wearing the band will give young people the opportunity to make a visible commitment that they are not prepared to tolerate bullying and will stand by their friends."

However, school pupils were quick to spot the reality of wearing the wristbands. Writing on the BBC's Newsround website, Rosie, 13, from London, said: "Ugh... I'm sorry, but in one school near me, it's made it a whole lot worse. Bullies are stupid, everyone knows that, and so they came up with a stupid idea.

"They basically thought 'Hey! Everyone who's wearing a wristband must be scared of bullying!' So they decided to bully the people wearing wristbands. So, it's made a difference, but not a good one."

But there was also support the for campaign. Izzy, 12, from Bath, wrote: "I think the fact that all the celebs are wearing the wristband will make a difference, because it might make people realise that it's not cool to bully."

However, a third, Shona, 13, from Norfolk, said: "I didn't even know it was anti-bullying week last week, and neither did the bullies at my school."

Now I've heard all the typical psycho-babble about why bullies bully -- that it's all about the bully being an insecure person, etc. And it seems that so many bullying programs these days seek to delve into this "root cause" of bullying, all the better to supposedly, prevent it.

However, I think most people who were ever bullied will say that it wasn't done to them by the nerdy, shy, quiet kid sitting by himself in the corner of the classroom picking his nose. It was done to me by the pretty, wealthy, well dressed and well coiffed girls who were part of the so-called "first best clique." These were the girls that seemed to have everything going for them. Still, some of you might say "but if they were truly secure, they wouldn't feel the need to bully others." And I can see your point.

But when dealing with this whole bullying issue, the whole focus is on "root causes" as in why are the bullies so insecure? And what makes one person get singled out for bullying as opposed to another?

All I have to say in response to these questions is that I don't give a rat's behind. While insecurity may SEEM to be the reason why people bully others, the larger issue is that fact that these brats FEEL THEY HAVE A RIGHT to get their jollies by bullying other kids. And to me, that falls under the category of VERY BAD MANNERS.

Granted I'm not saying that kids have to be best friends with all their classmates, but part a big part of having good manners is treating others with respect and common courtesy, which kids should be taught.

You know, it's like the war on terror. Liberals want us to understand the "root causes" for why the rest of the world hates us, so that we can make the rogue regimes like us. Most sane people, however will just want to hunt down and kill the terrorists.


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