Posted by: Bruce | April 16, 2013

School Bullying – in an ugly, old fashioned way.

Last Wednesday afternoon (April 10) I was on the roof. The gutters needed cleaning and finding a fault that caused the roof to leak during bad weather, had my attention.

Well not my full attention it seems, because while scooping wet and muddy leaves from the gutter I heard a bus pull up and voices which sounded not like adults. Some other noises registered and I looked through some trees to the bus stop. A couple of kids in school uniform (white shirts I think) were laughing and taking off in a hurry. One more followed I think, running as well. From the right, hidden a little by bushes, came another school kid, blue shirt and perhaps stumbling on his feet or, to his feet. Angrily he yelled “I’ll get youse tomorrow”. The bus, directly behind them, pulled away. This was the bus stop at the intersection of King Albert Ave and President Poincare Pde, Tanilba Bay around 4. 15pm.

Bullying- SMHerald imageI didn’t see what happened, if anything happened at all. My impression simply being that this boy in the blue shirt had been on the ground, on the footpath (sidewalk). I know he was angry because of his body language and his yelling. He stood there for a moment or two and then started to walk off. He seemed okay, not hurt that I could see.

I digested this scene, then went back to the gutter thinking about bullies. Not many seconds later I heard the same kid in the blue shirt yelling to or at someone else. I looked up to see where this angst was going.

Two kids could be seen at the corner of the next short block up the road. I couldn’t make out what they were saying but the kid in the blue shirt (now across the road) was yelling and waving for them to “come on then “. When he started to walk towards them they’d laugh and slip out of sight; then back again to keep it going. One of these kids was on a scooter, I think the other as well. The scooter kids had light coloured shirts, maybe school uniform, maybe not; but they were school age and disappeared into Rigney Rd. Whatever the first lot of kids had achieved, it appeared that these two were sticking it to the same kid as well.

After a few of these exchanges, all went quiet. I looked up shortly after and saw the back of the kid with the blue shirt walking up King Albert Ave towards Diggers Drive. He was probably going home. Even from 50 metres away he looked angry.

I wondered if he would say anything when he got home. Kids are like that, either dismiss or bottle it up. He would have been angry for sure. Would his behaviour be off that night, maybe get into trouble? Would he share some of his misery? And of course, would he be on Facebook later where cyberbullying can continue the taunting? I hope he speaks up so that I’m not the only who watched a little of his misery. The other kids probably all went home laughing and told their parents they had a pretty good day.

From what I know of this area, these kids probably came from high schools at Raymond Terrace and travelled on Hunter Valley Buses. Maybe they all went to the same school, maybe not. They all seemed to be around 14-16yrs mark. A genius wasn’t required to see that the boy in the blue shirt was the object of bullying by around 5 kids, maybe others on the bus. He was on his own. He was solid enough and could probably hold his own, one on one, if he could handle himself a little.

Did I mention that the boy in the blue shirt appeared to be of Asian descent? No. Well, to me he clearly is. He also sounds just as Aussie as myself and the bully boys, probably 2nd or 3rd generation or whatever. I hope that wasn’t a factor in the bullying but it may have been.

Anyway, I’m for the underdog in this story and I hope the kid in the blue shirt stays strong and tells his parents.

Stop bullying - a Google imageThe other five bullies are yet to learn that part of being an okay kind of person is to give someone a fair go and not be cowardly little turds.

Word for today:   Bully – one habitually cruel to others weaker that himself.

More to come;    same blog time, same blog channel.

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Responses

  1. There are two people more vulnerable than the bullied child and that’s the child’s parents. Who knows if it’s got to do with the boy being Asian. Bullies don’t have to have a reason. I once suggested to a bully that if he touched my son again I would break every bone in his body. I wouldn’t have done it. In fact I shook for an hour after the event. But this was primary school and I was hoping I could bluff him. These days the bully would know his rights and I’d have found myself hauled into court for it. But the cowardly little scumbag did stop.

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    • I don’t know about the parents being more vulnerable than the child. I know parents of bullied kids are affected but hopefully are able to cope. The kids are the big worry and I hope this one (with five kids sticking it to him) somehow brought his parents into it, if only for understanding and moral support. The parents of course can decide independently if something else needs to be done. Like you, many parents want to throttle those that bully their kids, but as you say; we’d all end up in court for being bullies ourselves.

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      • You’re right, Bruce. Here’s another example of my jumping the gun. Vulnerable is the wrong word. I meant that parents are often helpless to do anything. The only reason I found out about the bullying was because my two boys were talking about it to each other. I was told that it would be worse if I went to the principal which is what I wanted to do. I was at my wit’s end. That boy you saw being bullied isn’t likely to talk to his parents. He’s ashamed, he thinks the fault is somehow his and thinks his parents will feel the same. And probably deep down he knows that even if he does tell them, those bullies will make it worse for him.And they probably would. There have to be some strong laws in place. Often, too, Perhaps it’s the hangers on and friends of bullies who should do something. They would rather the bully focussed on the victim rather than themselves.

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      • Now I know what you mean. And yes, I go along with all that you said. Bullying really is a cruel thing and some kids pay the ultimate price.

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  2. It occurred to me as I read this that bullying is like terrorism, only on a smaller scale. Instead of using greater firepower to push the defenseless around, bullies use the strength (and courage) they derive from out-numbering individuals. In all ways, it really is a sign of weakness. I hope the boy tells someone.

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    • I certainly go along with that Charles. To a kid who’s bullied on more that one occasion, there must be a little bit of terror even before they have gone through the front door. Like you, I really hope he tells someone. If not, maybe someone who knows him will. It’s the reason I was specific about the time and location. Tanilba Bay, NSW, is a small community and hopefully someone hits on this post and starts talking.

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  3. Like that picture, Bruce. 🙂

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    • Why thank you Mary. As I changed the picture I did briefly wonder whether this one might get the nod from you. I’ve also wondered whether the dust has been disturbed on your novel.

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      • Definitely nodding. Thanks for enqjuiring about my novel, Bruce,. It’s sillier than I originally thought. Not having viewed it in years, I was secretly hoping it wasn’t going to be as bad as I originally remembered.
        More tripe than I’ve been served up in ages. A total revamp is in store for it.

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