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Landmark case sets serious bullying up as a matter for the police

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2009/jul/24/bullying-crime

According to the above article, the recent case of a 14 year old girl who contemplated suicide after a prolonged period of racial bullying.

The article points out that the think tank CITIVAS has stated that this should have been a matter for the school and the parents.

My take?

This is a clear case of the 'is' and 'ought' problem - CITIVAS 'ought' to be right; but as anyone who's been through our public school system in the last 20 years will tell you, the general trend 'is' that this just isn't a viable option for most of the worst affected kids.

CITIVAS position assumes that the school and the other children's parents - perhaps even the actual victim's parents - will respond and enter into a dialogue or voluntary process to resolve the situation.

I think back to a friend of mine, who when she was 14 was waiting for a bus when four other girls jumped her in broad daylight at lunchtime in front of a parade of shops.

She was kicked unconscious and had hugh round marks on the sides of her head. While she was out cold on the floor, one of the other kids had been trying to stamp her heel into her temple. Repeatedly.

The kids were never so much as ticked off, the school did nothing and kept no records. She ended up moving schools, a trend mirrored when the authorities suggested that they be moved to other accomodation, following a neighbour from a family well known for trouble beat up her father.

They were the victims, they got moved. From daughter to father the trend is the same - no justice.

Got to the point where our Drama teacher (a good teacher and nice man, but not to be messed with and from quite a tough background) told us that the only way we'd get people to leave us alone if bullied was to 'headbutt the one who comes at you as hard on the bridge of the nose as possible; they'll go down squeeling in pain in a pool of blood and the others will back off'.

CITIVAS should be right - but that is such a middle class view (literal, not pejorative usage) of conflict resolution and we are so hopelessly past that point in many areas of the state system that it's meaningless.

Children need protecting from serious violence - this means the law, in my view.

What do others think?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can't help but feel that there's a certain amount of your post that suggests that as the schools are failing fulfill their responsibilities then the buck should be passed elsewhere, rather than trying to fix the bit that's screwing up in the first place.

    For cases when the school isn't resolving matters then I agree, the victim shouldn't continue to suffer simply because of the schools incompetence so that case should be dealt with else where, BUT that should also be a massive indication that things need fixing with that school and fast. NOT a sign that the law should be dealing with these matters rather than schools.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    agree with everything you say martin, but also agree with scary monster that if schools did their bit properly there would be no need for the legal system to get involved.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well you mention two cases - one case which involves a mass physical attack outside school which is a matter for the peelers.

    But the original case wasn't - this was a case of long term bullying where the school seems to have taken no effective action and you also have to ask whether it was different from 99% cases of bullying excpet that the victim had tried to commit suicide - if she hadn't the bully would still have done the same actions and the peelers wouldn't have got a look in.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think more bullies should be getting their collars felt. I don't think a few bullies getting sent to prison is a bad thing. Too bad if it ruins their lives, they deserve to have their lives ruined. They shouldn't be let back out until they learn how to behave like civilised human beings.

    I think there's now a serious call to make ASBOs stronger, and to make prison sentences longer for those who breach ASBOs. Kids who bully should be sent to secure school accommodation until they learn to behave like civilised human beings. I couldn't give two monkeys about how bad a childhood these bullies have had, I couldn't give two hoots about how it's because they're poor and neglected, I don't care if they get some psychologist to come up with some bollocks about ADHD or aspergers, get the fuckers out of schools until they learn how to behave.

    Schools will never do anything about bullying. Admitting there's a problem is bad for their reputation. Teachers don't want to get involved as the pondlife who bully at school have been bred by pondlife who can make teachers' lives hell. So they always pretend it's a case of 'six and two threes' and sweep it all under the carpet. And when some poor fucker kills themselves, they were always 'really popular' and 'nobody can understand why they did it'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can't help but feel that there's a certain amount of your post that suggests that as the schools are failing fulfill their responsibilities then the buck should be passed elsewhere, rather than trying to fix the bit that's screwing up in the first place.

    Agree completely; its the logic of defeat, but I've seen so many kid's lives made a misery by failing schools that this is the most realistic and immediate intervention I can think of.

    As I said I think CITIVAS should be right, but unfortunately the whole system of conflict resolution is so broken at the moment that this would only be a long term solution at best. It also relies upon some form of social change amongst parents, which is mostly outside the school's control.
    Well you mention two cases - one case which involves a mass physical attack outside school which is a matter for the peelers.

    True, but what I didn't include in the OP was that this was a continuation of what was going on inside school anyway. At the start of this decade is was not unheard of for kids to be beaten unconscious inside the school.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru



    True, but what I didn't include in the OP was that this was a continuation of what was going on inside school anyway. At the start of this decade is was not unheard of for kids to be beaten unconscious inside the school.

    To be honest I assumed it was... but when it takes place outside school it's a bit tough to hold the school responsible. But they were responsible for the bullying inside...

    Bullying where a kid is knocked unconcious is mercifully rare. One on one figths not so uncommon, but still rare
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    schools do jack shit to help victims of bullies, i have had to change school 4 times due to bullying. when my mum went to report how i had been beaten up outside the school gates, the school turned around and said it was nothing to do with them as it was outside of premisis and out of hours. the police said it was a matter for the school.

    i think schools need to stamp it out at the sorce, so if they hear name calling and such, they actually call the kids and their parents in and suggest things like separation and such until the matter is clear and the child can behave.

    No these things should be dealt with by the police, but when the school does absolutely nothing, or in my case actually blames the victim, higher powers need to be brought in.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's tricky, because teachers don't really have the incentive to get involved when it's outside of the school gates. They should, but well, they are overworked, too many targets and ofsted and everything, and underpaid. But I am sure when a medic is off duty we would hope they would help someone who needed them, and same with an off duty policeman. That's what being a professional is about really, or at least what it should be about.

    Teachers teach, and they're not supposed to be police, and obviously in my eyes its often parents who are failing in this student-teacher-parent triangle thing, because they let their kids do it. as someone else put it in another thread, parents can not believe that their kids achieve below average, or that they ever misbehave. of course, its just the teachers picking on the kids isnt it?
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