I have been away from blogging for a while for a number of reasons, one of which being how frustrating the news has been lately. The one story that made me smile was Casey Heynes’ act of self-defense.
We all have our stories of bullying. Stories of the humiliation we suffered at the hands of someone like Ritchard Gale who isn’t afraid of ill-conceived and ineffective punishments handed down by teachers, but many of us also have stories of the day that bullying ended. For me, it was one incident in high school gym class that ended with me leaving a welt the size of a softball on the side of my bully’s face. I didn’t have Casey’s size advantage, but three well-placed punches were enough to send a message to him and others like him who saw me as an easy target; torment at your own risk. It doesn’t happen overnight, and Casey might just have to body slam another would-be bully, but he sent a very strong message about how vulnerable he wasn’t, a message that has made him an internet icon.
The problem is that in a society that is obsessed with non-violence and ‘zero tolerance’, the lessons learned by Casey and Ritchard aren’t being taught. On a recent episode of ‘The Michael Coren Show’, Marianne Meed Ward demonstrated just how out of touch she was when she bragged about how she was able to deal with her child’s bully through a parent-teacher conference. How does that help? Not only is this twit encouraging her children to not stand up for themselves, but, in my experience, such actions only encourage more bully. The bully in question might not continue to torment Marianne’s child, but she has pretty much advertised to the other bullies in the school where to find an easy target. If parent-teacher conferences worked, I wouldn’t have been on a first-name basis with the school’s office staff.
I could spend a few blog posts discussing how out of touch those like Marianne are with reality, but Steven Crowder sums it up nicely in his latest video (hat-tip Ed Morrissey at Hot Air).
One of the key points raised by Crowder is that these lessons need to be learned at a young age. Such violent behaviour in adults leads to criminal records, if not far worse consequence. As Crowder said, Ritchard literally had some sense knocked into him. I doubt that he will be bullying any student after this event, especially after the humiliation he has endured after this incident. That isn’t something that is taught in the classroom or a parent-teacher conference.
In the end, I am not saying that violence is the only answer, but it definitely is an answer. Marianne and others who obviously haven’t had to deal with the reality of such situations need to understand that words and the threat of a minor punishment is useless. Even if the punishment was harsher, it wouldn’t deter the vast majority of these bullies who couldn’t care whether or not they are allowed to attend school. These ‘zero tolerance’ policies actually punish victims for defending themselves. These are students who, for the most part, actually want to attend class, have been forced to endure bullying for the sake of their education. How twisted is that? Self-defense and standing up for one’s self should be encouraged, not punished.
Casey Heynes should be held up as an example of how students should behave if they are being bullied. Those like Marianne Meed Ward are out of touch with reality, and their cries for a non-violent approach to bullying are being drowned out by millions of people around the world who have nothing but praise for the 16-year-old boy who regained his self-esteem with a well-deserved body slam.