A few days ago, an incident from Chifley College in Australia took the world by storm when a pint-sized child earned himself a ‘minor’ thrashing from the bigger boy. In case you have no idea what I am writing about, I am highlighting the Casey Heynes incident which not just took the world’s attention but also went viral via online (the wonders of online videos). In case you have no idea, try watching this full interview from Australia which is now on Youtube. Or this news article from The New Zealand Herald and that too. As a result, people are not just calling Casey a hero but also the incident is the wake up call I believe everyone truly needs: addressing the issue of bullying.

Anyway, I am not here to take the opportunity to condemn Richard Gale, Casey’s bully, for provoking Casey into fighting back and giving him a taste of his own medicine he needs or whatsoever but I am here to talk about the one issue that many people have been turning a blind eye for too long. I believe that many people have or had been bullied at school. As a blogger, I am not going to lie but I too had been bullied many times. The bullying I endured from primary to high school was not physical but more to both social exclusion and emotional and verbal abuse. If you ask me if it affected me, yes, it did but in a way I am survivor who lives to tell the tale as well as a young adult who has no tolerance towards bullying (every now and then, it makes my blood boil to hear of a child being bullied).

It is a sad fact that bullying is becoming more prevalent to the point that many bully victims find going to school a nightmare. Do you want to know what is as severe as bullying? When some people (I have to admit some grown-ups can be terribly dumb) and schools turn a blind eye and do nothing to stop the bullying resulting in children being bullied repeatedly from months to even years. Here is the worse bit: bullied victims being blamed for the bullying to happen or punished for fighting back. Let me get this straight: it is NEVER the victims’ fault and it is UNFAIR that the bullies have to get away with it scot-free while the victims are left to suffer. Whoever says that bullying is a rite of passage or a part of growing up, well, he or she is wrong and that person has no idea how serious bullying is. Bullying hurts a victim not just physically but also emotionally and psychologically.

Do you know what is tragic about bullying? When some bully victims could no longer take the abuse anymore in class, school or cyberspace until they are driven to suicide. It is not fair that an innocent child is driven to commit suicide all no thanks to a bunch of bullies. Take a look at the Sladjana Vidovic tragedy which made headlines a year ago and what annoys me the most is reading how her heartless tormentors made a mockery out of her even when she was dead at her own funeral (Trust me, some bullies do have the cheek to mock their victims when they are already dead). To those who think it is fun to bully someone to the point of suicide or depression (shoot me but I have to say it), you are no better than a bunch of evil murderers who ruthlessly take an innocent life away from his or her loved ones and may God have mercy upon your souls. That is not all, you have to answer to God one day why you acted so evilly.

Anyway, the Casey Heynes incident has not only opened our eyes and realise how serious bullying is that we need to tackle it. That is not all, I want to point out that some parents are too blind to realise that their kids are the bullies and therefore, allowing those little monsters to continue picking on the weak or those who don’t fit in. However, this Sydney Morning Herald article about a father turning in his children to the police for being bullies not just made my day (and some people’s) but shown there are some parents out there who will not tolerate their children’s bullying antics. Good on the father for doing his part to nip them in the bud and showing he means business that he doesn’t tolerate bullying, but shame on those two brats who are no better than a neighbourhood thug.

If we want to tackle bullying and stop more children from getting hurt, I believe the victims are not the only ones who need help. Bullies too need help and some therapy to curb their bad behaviour before they grow up and become society’s menace in the neighbourhood, the workplace or even at home. Like it or not, today’s bullies will be tomorrow’s cruel, corrupted, manipulative and moralless monsters. That includes girls who bully too. We ,as adults, also need to teach children that bullying is never acceptable. To those who are bullied, you are not alone, stay strong, get help as soon as possible and don’t suffer in silence. Remember it is never your fault that bullying happens to you. To parents of the bullied, don’t give up in ending the bullying and go to the police or even the local Ministry of Education (or even local education board depending on where you come from) if the schools turn a blind eye or deaf ear. As for the bullies out there, shame on you all and you are no better than a bunch of criminals! And parents of the bullies, open your eyes, own up that your kids are little thugs behind your backs, stop going into denial for once and parent them properly before it is too late.

What says you about the issue of bullying in schools? Have or had you been bullied? What do you think must be done to curb bullying? Opinions are welcomed.