Wake Up Schools: You’ve Got a Bullying Problem

Whilst anti-bullying programs and policies have their place, the epidemic known as schoolyard bullying is on the rise, and the measures for counteracting it is pathetic at best.  Schools must take responsibility for their culture and must ensure that the safety of their students is paramount.  I can’t believe that incidents like the infamous NSW “body slam” incident, which has now become an internet sensation is allowed to take place at our schools.

THERE are only so many times you can try to turn the other cheek.

A Sydney schoolboy has become an internet sensation after video emerged of him body-slamming another student during a verbal and physical attack.

The year 10 boy – who pleaded with his tormenter to leave him alone – picked up his attacker and slammed him to the ground.

The teenager, said to have been bullied all his school life, was taunted and punched by a younger, smaller boy.

The victim took a hit to the face and then more blows as the year 7 boy goaded him to fight.

Suddenly the boy had had enough. He launched himself at his attacker, picked him up and threw him to the ground.

The younger boy staggered away, stunned and hurt.

Both students were suspended for four days after the incident which took place on Monday.

How can you justify punishing the victim with the very same punishment as the bully?

How can you let the kids filming and commentating from the sidelines go unpunished?  Talk about enablers!

How can the school not accept some of the blame for the lack of adequate supervision and providing an environment where such bullying exists.  If the film hadn’t been shot, there probably wouldn’t have been any punishments.  How can this happen in an age where there is a higher level of bullying awareness?

Below is the link to the video.  I must warn you it is not for the squeamish.


Suspended for 4 days?  Seriously?  The school should have closed down for 4 days, and made to use that time to reflect on its core values.

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6 Responses to “Wake Up Schools: You’ve Got a Bullying Problem”

  1. kadilou Says:

    I was actally just thinking of you and your blog. I get it to my inbox each time you post and I knew there had to be one coming about this very thing!!! I will be creating a post about it once my two go down for their nap, but I wanted to say that I am so glad as a teacher you share the same frustrations about it that I do as a parent! If its ok I’d like to create a link back to this post so my readers can hear it from a teachers ponit of view also (if I can figure that out).
    Thanks for you blog, although I don’t get to comment on it all the time I do really enjoy reading it!

    • Michael G. Says:

      Thank you kadilou very much for thinking of me and linking your blog to mine. I look forward to your take on this very disturbing clip. This clip will surely continue to bring a range of different views and emotions – as it should. I still can’t understand why those filming haven’t been properly scrutinised.

      • kadilou Says:

        I totally agree with you, standing around and encouraging this behaviour is just as bad as committing it. I have a huge problem that the bully and the victim got the same punishment.
        I agree with you that the schools need to realise and take some more responsibility for the problem but I also think that parents need to take some more responsibility for it too.
        I just published my post 🙂

      • Michael G. Says:

        Your post was fantastic! Thank you for the mention.

  2. Its all fun and games until the bully gets hurt! | lovemybabies Says:

    […] I was so happy to read Michael G’s post, as a teachers perspective, it’s comforting knowing that there are good teachers out there:  https://passionateteaching.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/wake-up-schools-youve-got-a-bullying-problem/ . […]

  3. hakea Says:

    I like your comment about closing the school for 4 days.

    How can I school not do anything about bullying for so long? Do they understand that they can be sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars as victims of bullying are turning to the courts as compensation for their suffering?

    I work in a school (in the same local government area as Chifley College) and teachers quite often don’t know what to do about bullying.

    There are so many great school-wide prevention, early intervention, and treatment programmes that are available, and they don’t cost a lot of money – Olweus Bullying Prevention, Second Step & Steps To Respect, Method of Shared Concern, are just a few.

    The principal and teachers of that school are being negligent in their duty of care to the health and welfare of their students.

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