This was huge news this week, because the bullies friends video taped this. You could hear the encouragement that the bully was getting from his bully friends. You could see Casey's attitude of not wanting to fight at first. Casey finally had enough as children looking on did nothing, and he took his bully and picked him up - slammed him down on the concrete. Casey then walked away from the circumstance. I noticed one of the bully's bigger friends wanted to take out after him, but a girl stepped in and told him THAT'S Enough!
There are conflicting reports about the discipline that happened.
- Both boys got 4 days suspension
- Casey got 4 and the bully got 21 days
- Casey was the only one disciplined
People are questioning if this is a good example of anti bullying. Why? Casey had enough, and did he do the wrong thing by pushing back finally? Most people I think remember being bullied as a child, and really understood where Casey was at that point. "Good for HIM!" they stated. Then you have others that wondered if he took the easy way out.
If he gained any power it would have been in the dignity department. He took it back from what I saw. The way he stood, and took the blows? I don't think his attitude towards the bully was the same as the bully towards him. He told them - leave me alone. He enforced the boundary the way kids have to at times. Sadly, of course.
I think the big question we need to ask is about the bully discipline procedure. When a child is unprotected time and time again - what are we asking from them? Being that the circumstance was known to everyone....what are we asking children to do exactly?
The suspensions to me showed our societies silence on the matter. What did it solve, and what did it teach? Are not suspensions to serve a purpose?
Are we asking Casey to just TAKE the blows until help arrives? He has done that for years, and the teachers can't be everywhere all the time. Do we assign a teacher to follow him around? Should we tell him to scream his head off so they come - and would that also remove his dignity? I think it would.
I think most people understand the zero violence policy, but we seem to be missing something huge in this area as well. Why are adults ignoring this, and not doing what adults are called to do - looking for solutions? I'm sure there are not any good ones at times, but we should allow children to keep their dignity. We would wish it for ourselves as adults wouldn't we?
I will admit I felt bad for the bully that got his knees smashed - are my bad knees prejudicing that a bit? I suppose it could be, but I also don't like to see anyone hurt.
What does this story tell us? For me personally it shows our lack of understanding. Bullying is a form of domestic violence to me. This child Casey was terrorized, and we truly hand them no tools to deal with this.
If you can't see video click here.
Go tell a teacher! Okay. Then what? The teachers know already.
Don't hit back otherwise you will be in trouble also! If anyone saw the video? He had no way of escaping, and what should he have done?
The children that watched should have done something! Okay then. Do people remember what happens to kids that tattle on bullies? NOW they have bullies breathing down their necks. If you can't protect Casey how are you going to protect them?
"But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." How do you reconcile this?
To me this is a verse about someone that has the power to strike back, and choosing not to. They are achieving a goal by NOT striking back. If my enemy knows that I have the power and the right to respond to a blow, and I instead forgo my right and choose not to exercise my power, it's making a statement to my enemy- something like "I am above this violence."
This is NOT a caviler time in which one man strikes another in the face with his glove in order to dishonor him. For me just like all scripture there is a time to discern. This was not just someone striking you on the cheek, but a gang of boys wanting to scare and harm. Does scripture not also speak of self defense with the proper attitude?
The bully doesn't acknowledge that Casey has power or rights, and often the victim doesn't believe that they have power or rights either.
It's about the bully taking out his own psychological problems on a victim. Just like any other types of bullying - in the schoolyard, at home, and within relationships.
Taking the punishment reinforces the behavior. Its fun for them to torment, and if the person will sit and take it? Why not continue. Where are the repercussions for them? Where is the incentive to stop? The "turn the cheek" strategy is about shaming or demonstrating love- I personally don't think most bullies have enough empathy to understand those concepts. I do believe that is the purpose of the scripture mentioned!
The sad part is people SHOULD know this!
Casey's Father stated:
"There'll be reprisals from other kids in the school and he still has to go to school somewhere."
"He's not a violent kid, it's the first time he's lashed out and I don't want him to be victimized over that."
"He's always been taught never to hit. Apparently other people's parents don't teach their kids that."His father doesn't want to say to much, because he knows what has happened so far is going to get him victimized more. His child got punished for defending himself, and he knows the bullies aren't going to stop now either.
Do people stop to think that their 'bully' procedures, policies, and punishments aren't effective since bullies don't see them as a deterrent?
Some bullies grow up, and do away with their bully ways. They will throw away their childhood activities, and realize they were wrong. They can become responsible adults.
For those that don't? They grow up and bully as adults. They bully their spouse, and they bully their kids. They bully at jobs, churches, and stores.
For a kid dealing with a bully, whats important is the victim learn that they do have a right to protect themselves and the strength to do so. If they develop these, then when they grow up, they'll be able to lay them down when the time is right, and when they have been led by Christ to do so.
They learn to discern.
Are we telling our children they have the right to protect themselves when school policies say they don't?
If they never learn how strong they are, or that they have a right to protection and self-defense, they will grow with an unhealthy view of themselves and I don't think they'll actually be able to correctly "turn the other cheek" if they try. If my enemy knows I'm afraid of him and will take whatever he dishes out, what surprise is it when I turn the cheek? Do people actually think that was the principal behind that verse? I would hope NOT!
Who is truly abdicating their responsibilities here? When it's up to Casey and the concrete to teach the bully a hard truth- bullying is not a valid way to treat people?
We as a society truly need to take a good hard look at our messages. Do they not see the emotional abuse of this child as well? What are we teaching here anyway? Should our policies state just to IGNORE bullies? It certainly doesn't say use discernment.
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