Bullying victims are the problem, not the bullies

Honestly, Australia’s Department of Education has it all backwards.

After weeks of international news and publicity, one thing is clear from the “resolution” of the Casey Heyne bullying case: the Department of Education is not here to protect Australian children from bullying. They don’t give a fuck about figuring out the truth, about investigating who is the bully and who is the victim. In fact if anything, the new policy makes it clear that the problem that needs to be eradicated are the poor kids who can’t stick up for themselves.

The policy of “react to bullying issues quickly” fails to distinguish rules for investigating who is actually in the wrong. Instead, Australia’s Department of Education and all school disciplinary bodies enforce a policy of turning a blind eye to self-defense and their own adamant system failures, instead imposing a blanket “no tolerance” policy on violence and abuse of any kind.

What this obviously leads to, is the victim being treated as the guilty party, thereby punished as severely as the perpetrator. Once suspended and off school grounds, bullying can continue in an environment where the school is happy to turn a blind eye.

Where is the investigations body? What schools need is a tribunal of councilors and teachers who are committed to actually taking notice of the character clashes of their pupils in order to build a case of evidence. Bullying victims (otherwise normal, harmless students) should not need counselling at all if potential bullies are dealt with swiftly. Leave these gentle-natured kids alone! A case should not be built against those “at risk” of being bullied as the current policy implies, but a case against those little pricks and bitches who make the schoolyard hell for everyone else.

Casey Heyne’s school Chifley College cleared after claims in wake of viral video | News.com.au.

Bullying victim is the problem, not the bully

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Categories: People, Politics, Law

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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10 Comments on “Bullying victims are the problem, not the bullies”

  1. James Herron
    March 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    This case is a brilliant example of the abject failure of “zero tolerance” policies, which simply strip administrators of the ability and inclination to investigate issues and respond to them fairly. To give the same punishment to a child clearly defending himself as you do his bully is not only grossly unfair but undermines that child’s confidence in the system to resolve issues justly. Casey learned a very important lesson: namely if you stand up for yourself bullies are much less likely to target you. Unfortunately, there was a second important lesson he also needed to learn about the appropriate use of force. A school with sensible administrators would have punished Ritchard, clearly the instigator of physical violence, and would have counseled Casey to make sure he understood that violence is only acceptable in a self defense situation and is not an appropriate response to day to day conflicts with other students.

    Instead, Casey got suspended and then he got an interview with A Current Affair where he is compared to a superhero, I’m afraid all he’s learned is that violence gets him positive attention and that teachers and authority figures have no understanding of the problems he faces and are therefore incapable of helping him.

  2. Richard Lee
    March 28, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    I think Casey should have been punished too. Why? Because you’re not meant to respond with a smackdown. Maybe a policy where a formal complaint against another student must be lodged before self-defence can be cited. The thing is all this legalism is lost on 12yr old school students.

  3. James Herron
    March 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Requiring students to have formally complained about their tormenter before they’re allowed to defend themselves from a physical attack is in my mind insane, and has no bearing on how real life conflicts can occur. If you were to be accosted in the street by someone being violent and you used reasonable force to stop that physical attack you would not be charged with a crime, so why are children being punished for essentially the same act? The education department seems content to bury the problem under piles of useless forms and to fall back on zero tolerance policies the second their faulty decision making is called into question.

    • Stu Holley
      April 1, 2011 at 12:40 am #

      Ok so with this case there is a reasonable amount of evidence to show the events, but what should the education department do when there is no video evidence or credible eyewitness statements involved? It becomes their word versus mine.

      For an institution like a school to run, there need to be stricter rules applied than that of what you would find in the outside world. Student’s don’t generally have the decision making skills of adults, just one of the reasons it seems that schools are run as prisons. While zero tolerance obviously has it’s drawback it is a necessity in today’s school environment.

  4. Sherry
    March 31, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    If every school had a Casey then we wouldn’t need any of this talk of policy. Fancy being a bully? Have a Smackdown you little prick. Massive WWE contract on the way for that young man, I hope!

    PS. James Herron has it spot on.

  5. Stu Holley
    April 1, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    And if Casey had of broken the little shits neck? What if he had given him brain damage, left him paralyzed or killed him? With what Casey did this is not out of the realms of possibility. What happens then? Where is the line in which self defense be excessive?

    • April 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

      Lets just say the kid had decided to attack an animal, and the animal, after being backed into a corner and beaten, reacted and injured him. We’d all say the kid was a fucking stupid moron and should know better. Same rules apply here.

  6. TheSludgeToaster
    February 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    Yes, I agree. Self-defense should be allowed if necessary. I’ve been in situations where I would be punished for standing up to a little fucker, and it’s ridiculous. “Stop it I don’t like it” simply doesn’t work.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Cyber-Bully Hysteria: New Jersey Adopts New Anti-bullying Legislation | Intentious - September 8, 2011

    […] Intentious readers may remember Casey Heyne, the Australian schoolboy who was suspended for defending himself in a schoolyard fight. Casey […]

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