You know Cherry, I really did detest bullying at school, such a pity that children have to be so spiteful and nasty.
Happens in all walks of life, dear. Girls schools, boys schools, mixed schools, high, low, you name it there will always be bullies.
Maybe, but not always I hope. Just think back. Think how it was when teachers and in some schools, even prefects, were permitted to dish out corporal punishment.
Surely you’re not going to suggest bringing back the birch, dear?
No no, of course not. Well not exactly. But a friend, I was recently discussing the subject with, told me about his own experience when he was at school and how the problem of bullying was virtually eliminated by a gang of boys taking under their wings any boy who was being threatened by bullies.
Sort of like ‘The Magnificent Seven’?
Don’t be silly Cherry. No. As it happens, he went to a very old established grammar school for boys where even there, there were nasty little characters.
Go on, dear. Don’t keep me in suspense.
Well first we have to accept the fact and appreciate that the vast majority of kids at school are decent, respectful of their parents and elders and generally know right from wrong. We also should know that bullies almost always possess some form of mental or psychological weakness. In fact, we can say that most of them are cowards. The way they carry out their bullying acts are cowardly, so much so that they often do it anonymously by sending nasty email messages from Internet cafes.
So how do you propose stopping it, dear?
Well think back to when the job of Prefects was to apply disciplinary control over the other pupils. So why not today? By having schools select a number of pupils, say twenty or thirty, who are chosen as decent like minded children, some with a good physical ability, who would and could effectively take the bullies on. Let’s call this group the ‘elected protectors’.
Child vigilantes indeed.
Indeed, if you like, indeed. Anyway, every child would be aware that the group exists even though every person in the group may not be known. Then any child being bullied would be able to report the problem to the ‘elected protectors’ who could decide on what sensible remedial action should be taken. Of course some sort of approval from a responsible teacher would need to be sought and there would obviously have to be limits as to how far any punishment should go. Victims of bullying would have the security of knowing that, once alerted, his or her peers would protect them and take care of the problem.
What you’re suggesting, dear, is ‘an eye for an eye’. That would never be allowed.
Not exactly Cherry. That sounds much too severe. Lets just say ‘a punch on the nose for a punch on the nose’. If you’ve ever been punched on the nose you will not have liked it. If a bully knew that if he were to punch someone on the nose once, he would receive two punches on the nose in return, believe me, he would first think very hard about doing it.
But once this principle became an acceptable form of controlling school bullying, I believe bullying as we know it now would soon become a thing of the past.
You’re treading on thin ice there, dear. Legally I think you wouldn’t have a chance to get that one through.
Yes Cherry, no doubt your right, yet again. But I’m sure it would pretty well solve the problem.
No doubt it would, dear. But what about the poor cowardly bully? Can’t you imagine it? Every parent of every bully who was castigated or physically or mentally punished would have you and the government up in front of a Humans Rights Court before you could say Jack Robinson.
Yes. And I suppose you would be one of the prosecutors. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Don’t fret, dear. I wouldn’t let them send you to prison. Have another cup of tea.