Posts Tagged ‘Shy Keenan’

Sickening Video of Girl Being Bullied for Having Ginger Hair

March 27, 2013

Without knowing the school, I venture to say that this story is more than the work of a few bullies and a student who distributed a video online – this is about a culture which tells students that it is alright to persecute another on the basis of the colour of their hair. These bullies were more than likely getting away with all kinds of abuse without any sanction.

Do we really need to wait until viral videos and hospitalisations occur before a school begins to understand the extent of the bullying prevailing in their corridors?

Shocking footage of a schoolgirl being repeatedly kicked in the face by playground bullies ‘because she was ginger’ has appeared on the internet.

The schoolgirl had to be taken to hospital after being dragged to the floor by her hair and kicked in the face four times by playground bullies.

Footage of the brutal assault – which appeared on video site YouTube just hours after it happened –  shows a crowd of pupils at The Deanes School in Thundersley, Essex, encouraging the bullies to attack.

During the assault children can be heard goading the bullies with one boy screaming ‘Let her have it’ as the young girl is thrown to the floor by her hair.The disturbing footage – recorded on a mobile phone camera by a fellow pupil, then shows one attacker brutally kicking the girl in the face.The appalling attack comes just days after leading child abuse campaigner Shy Keenan claimed her 14-year-old son, Ayden, had been ‘bullied to death’ after he was tragically found dead at their family home in nearby Colchester, Essex.

The brave victim returned to school on Tuesday in a show of defiance against the bullies after suffering bruising from the brutal assault.

Jan Atkinson, headteacher of The Deanes School, said: ‘The school is treating this incident very seriously and is taking action against those involved.

‘The students concerned, including the student who uploaded the video, will not be returning to the school.

‘The incident happened during break time and was dealt with by a senior member of staff.

‘The victim was taken to hospital to be checked out. She had some bruising but is fine and has since returned to school.

‘I have spoken to the parents of the students involved and they are confident the school will deal with the situation in the right way.’


Are We Setting Up Our Children?

June 10, 2011

I personally don’t agree with closing down establishments that offer facials to kids under 13, as I feel that while it may be in poor taste, it is hardly outrageous.

What I do believe is that there far too much focus put on appearance. We are setting up our kids for failure if we continue to peddle the lie that:

a. You are happy if you look a certain way

b. You are ugly if you don’t look a certain way

c. That appearance is more important than character and integrity.

Still, as long as we allow our kids to stop acting their age and instead obsess about their appearance, cases like this will emerge:

Do children need a facial?

That question is actually being considered by some parents in Britain, where a salon that caters exclusively to children recently opened.

The salon, which opened earlier this week in the county of Essex, Britain’s answer to Jersey Shore, offers services such as manicures, pedicures, facials and hair styling to children under 13. The salon, called Trendy Monkeys also offers “princess parties” for groups of children, which comes with pink limousine service to and from the salon.

News of the salon has created an uproar in Britain, where child psychologists and advocates say that type of business promotes the sexualization of young girls and robs them of their childhood.

Owner Michelle Devine has defended her business, saying that daughters want to be like their mothers and that she is simply offering a service that many want.

“This shop will be specifically aimed at children and will cater to their need to feel good about themselves and take pride in their appearance in a fun-filled environment,” Ms. Devine told The Independent.

Critics disagree. A child protection consultant named Shy Keenan told the Daily Mail, “This is outrageous – it is giving children a complex about the way they look from the age of one.”

She might be onto something. Cosmetics companies and beauty businesses looking to widen their customer base have been increasingly courting the I-still-have-baby-teeth group in recent years.

A 2008 New York Times article detailed how a growing number of salons aimed at children as young as five were popping up, while retail giant Walmart came under fire earlier this year after news emerged it planned to sell anti-aging skin care products aimed at children 8 to 12, according to CBS local news in Pittsburgh.

While many parents may see nothing wrong with letting their child play dress-up or try on lipstick at home, a growing number of critics argue that marketing salon services and cosmetics to children is just plain wrong.

Whether that has any impact on business is another story. The business’ Facebook page (where, incidentally, photos of children who have visited the salon are accessible to anyone with an Internet connection) posted a message on Thursday expressing thanks for all of the attention it has received, apparently in belief that any publicity is good publicity.

You hear adults defend this practice by saying, “I spend a great deal of time focussing on my appearance, it’s natural.”

My response is, “How is that working for you?”

Do we want our kids to be spending inordinate amounts of time at salons, in front of the mirror and on the scales?  Do we want their appearance to guide their self-worth?  Do we want them to spend more time working out what to wear than how they can help others?

Is it not possible that we are setting up our children to take on the mindless anxieties that have so deeply tarnished our self-worth and affected our capacity to feel good about who we are and what we have achieved?

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