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Radical Action is Needed to Stop the Bullying

By - 12th November 2013

by Lisa Lintern*

449

My friend has a problem. A heart-breaking problem.

After rebuilding her life following a tough marriage breakup, her daughter is now being bullied at school.

Her beautiful, smart, gentle, wise and talented daughter. Bullied so badly my friend feels she has no choice but to move her to another school.

Now this friend of mine is a tough cookie. She has a strong and principled mind – the type of mind that can take on and deal with the toughest of challenges.

But sadly, not this challenge.

She's told me she can't win this fight.

It seems the school's efforts to curb the bullying against her daughter have only made things worse.

Last night while channel surfing, I came across Chloe Fergusson's story on 60 Minutes. She was a 15-year-old girl who took her life after years of relentless bullying. Apparently the bullying started when she was seven years old, after her mother passed away from breast cancer. She was seven. Can you imagine what that must have felt like for her?

Bullied because she didn't have a mother.

Sometimes I really do wonder about the human race.

And now I just feel sick.

Sick of hearing stories about young people who, through absolutely no fault of their own, become targets for bullies.

Sick of hearing parents say, with a shrug of their shoulders,"Kids will be kids."

Sick of hearing school principals say things like: "You can't always intervene."

Sick of seeing the hundreds of 'likes' on hideous Facebook posts, overlooked by those whose pockets are bursting from the success of social media.

Sick of politicians broadcasting nasty jibes for the entire population to hear; perpetuating ugly suggestions like 'fathers dying in shame'.

Sick that the bullies just keep getting away with it because noone seems to have any true courage when it comes to making it stop. 'Code of conduct', 'policies and procedures', 'block and unfriend' - these tokenistic attempts just don't cut it with me.

So I'll tell you what does cut it for me:

Teaching our kids about the concept of empathy – a way of thinking that seems to be fading fast into our history as society becomes more selfish and competitive. How to really stand in someone else's shoes and understand their story, let alone feel their pain.

Penalities for children AND parents who choose to live in the land of self-denial when it comes to bullying. Give them tangible actions – like visiting the parents of children who have killed themselves when bullying became too much.

Penalities for social media sites that are slow to monitor, and ambivalent in their reactions. Surely class actions are only a matter of time?

Penalties for public figures and politicians who step across the line – career-ending penalties. A troll should never be allowed to occupy a powerful and influential position.

Sure these ideas may seem radical.

But not as radical as being forced to shift your child to another school because noone is able to control a bunch of 10-year-old girls (yes, they are 10).

Not as radical as a child who chooses to end their own life because they can no longer stand the abuse.

Not as radical as a society that doesn't seem to have the gumption to really stand up to bullying.

an a child who chooses to end their own life because they can no longer stand the abuse.



Not as radical as a society that doesn’t seem to have the gumption to really stand up to bullying.

- See more at: http://lisalinternblog.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/sick-of-bullying.html#sthash.UPVx3BeR.dpuf

*Once upon a time Lisa Lintern completed a degree in journalism, but she was lured to the corporate world where she spent nearly 20 years as a communications professional. She is now finding her own voice as a freelance writer and on her blog Melodramatic Me.

imagefreedigitalphotos.net
Not as radical as a society that doesn’t seem to have the gumption to really stand up to bullying. - See more at: http://lisalinternblog.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/sick-of-bullying.html#sthash.ApkMafAl.dpuf

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