Posts Tagged ‘Blake Rice’

Cyber Bullying Takes Bullying to a New Level

April 13, 2011

It would be taking bullying too lightly to say it was important or a priority.  It is much more serious than that.  Bullying is a huge area of concern worldwide and is the issue most in need of consideration and due diligence in our schools.  I am happy to hear that in my home state of Victoria, legislation has been passed making it a crime to bully, with workplace bullies jailed for up to 10 years.

It is reassuring to see that cyber bullying is included in this piece of legislation:

The legislation would also cover cyber bullying. It’s happening in other places too.

With the internet covering every part of our lives, cyber bullying has become more prevalent now than ever before. Access to mobile phones, the Facebook phenomenon and YouTube have made it a real problem. Cyber bullying is now so bad that it’s being looked at by a parliamentary committee. Facebook says its removing 20,000 under age users globally each day, but the problem continues. Cyber bullying is perpetrated not just by young people. Take for example the revelations of a gay hate campaign on Facebook in the Australian Defence Force. //

Cyber bullying can take many forms. It can include being teased or made fun of online, being sent threatening emails,  having rumours spread about you online, having unpleasant comments, pictures or videos about you sent or posted on websites like Facebook or MySpace,  being sent unwanted messages, being deliberately ignored or left out of things on the internet or even having someone use your screen name or password and pretending to be you to hurt someone else.

One of the worst examples recently popped up when Blake Rice, who lost his mother and brother in Queensland’s floods, was bashed by six youths because of all the attention he was getting. After leaving him with a broken collar bone, they set up a Facebook page titled We bashed Blake Rice.

The effect of cyber bullying can not be underestimated.  When a child is bullied in the schoolyard, they may find sanctuary in the comfort and safety of their home and family.  This basic right is not afforded to victims of cyber bullying.  They are bullied from the very place they go to for safety and certainty.  With cyber bullying, there is nowhere to hide.

Another unique aspect of cyber bullying, is that when students are bullied at school there is a clear expectation that the Principal and staff will work together to protect these students.  Who are our children to turn to when they are being bullied online?  Their teachers?  Their parents?

This frustrating aspect is highlighted quite clearly through this heartbreaking letter to the Editor from a mother in the UK.

I WAS so pleased to read the article from a concerned father on Facebook Bullying.

I am the parent of a 13 year old girl attending a West Norfolk High School.

We have experienced the horror of Facebook Bullying, which follows on from a day of hell for my daughter in school.

I have had to complain to the school, visit the school, etc, on many occasions since my daughter started three years ago, only to be told the same thing time and time again – the bullies have been spoken too, the bullies have been dealt with; only to find that same evening it starts again at home in the form of Facebook.

The horrible taunts, the name calling, and then more join in and back up the bully’s comments. My daughter puts a far braver face on it than I ever could, but as a mother I feel her pain – and I am disgusted that the parents of these children are not checking what their delightful children are saying and the manner in which they are saying it.

I log on to my daughter’s Facebook with her permission every day now. On occasions as I have been doing this I have had vile messages sent to me via chat – and they get a nasty shock when they realise they have not actually sent it to my daughter.

I have threatened them with Police, with their parents and for cyber bullying, but most times you just get verbal abuse back.

What is happening to our children and our schools?

I have thought about taking my daughter off Facebook altogether to protect her, but why should she be the one who feels punished; why should she miss out on what the majority of her peers are enjoying responsibly?

Also it helps me as a parent to see just what the poor child is enduring and a least, on an upside, I can be there for her and support her through this the best I can – and I have the names of the bullies.

Perhaps Facebook should have been thought through before its launch – 18 years minimum age for access maybe.

There may just be a chance then that these awful bullying children may have reached maturity, and know right from wrong.


Bullying is Always Vulgar But Rarely This Bad

April 8, 2011

My country Australia and neighboring New Zealand has had it hard over the past few months, with floods, cyclones and earthquakes causing loss of life and enormous damage to homes, roads and towns.

In a time of tragedy, one of the few positives that can be reflected on, is the way wider communities come together in friendship and solidarity.

That is why it is so upsetting to hear of the bullying inflicted on the brother of Queensland’s flood hero.

First let’s reflect on the story of Jordan Rice’s courage and self-sacrifice:

To then bully Blake Rice, the poor younger brother, is just disgusting!

Blake Rice, 10, has been unable to return to school since he was set upon by the gang, who reportedly recognised him from media reports. The teenagers later set up a Facebook page called “We Bashed Jordan Rice” to boast about the assault.

The incident comes after a series of verbal assaults and threats on the Rice family following the January floods that have forced John Tyson, Blake’s father, to consider moving the family away from their home town of Toowoomba.

Mr Tyson and Blake became well known across the world after Jordan, 13, died in a flash flood in January after telling rescue crews to take his younger brother to safety first. The boys’ mother Donna Rice also died after the family car was swamped in the flood.

The family believe that coverage of Jordan’s heroics have stirred up resentment in the town.

Debbie Anderson, a family friend, told the Toowoomba Chronicle, that they were sick of the way they had been treated by some parts of the community.

She said many members of the Rice family had been bullied, abused and picked on because of what occurred in January.

“They’ve laughed in our face about Jordan’s death,” she said.

The attacks have shocked and appalled the wider community, with Julia Gillard, the prime minister, describing them as “a low act” and Anna Bligh, the Queensland premier, saying the behaviour was “disgusting”.

The local authorities have promised to prosecute the teenagers responsible with “the full force of the law.”

Toowoomba, one hour’s drive west of Brisbane, and the Lockyer Valley were hit by a deadly flash flood on Jan 11 that killed more than 25 people. Communities in the region are still trying to recover.

Bullying of all kinds is vulgar.  It is a reflection of the worst society has to offer.  At a time when Blake needs the support and care of his wider community, he is being harassed, beaten and forced to flee.

Unacceptable and downright awful!

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