Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When the Bullied Bash the Bullies

Oh no. The petals are falling off the flowers. They had a better summer than I had with all that rain. But now they are dying.

Just like thousands of Canadian children are probably dying a little bit. At the thought of going back to school and being tormented by bullies again.

As you know I hate bullies, of any persuasion, more than I hate ANYTHING. So I couldn't help notice this story.

A Winnipeg mother has sent her bullied son to learn kick-boxing and given him a green light to "kick the snot out of" his alleged tormentor when school starts next month.

The mother of the victim in Louis Riel S.D. said the bullying has included physical abuse, humiliation such as pulling down her son's gym shorts and underwear in front of the entire class and, more recently, anti-Semitism.

"His parents don't give a crap," she said.

Now I have to admit that I did the same thing as that kid is doing. When I came out at the age of twelve I was attacked by bullies all the time. So I learned martial arts, and when I was good enough I attacked them.

And I also admit that I would love to see the look on that bully's face, when his quiet little victim kicks him in the head. Although I know I shouldn't.

And I still think martial arts can be good for boys and girls to help protect them and boost their self confidence. But these guys are right.

"Martial arts is not about kicking and punching...Violence only invokes more violence...."

Mr. Beltran and Mr. Pabuaya both stressed that selfdefence preaches mental discipline before physical training. Both emphasize verbal interaction to avoid heated confrontations."

Violence is a dead end. And bullying and homophobia are ADULT problems. Kids should be protected from both of them and not have to become violent to defend themselves. Or live in fear.

So it's up to school boards, and teachers, and police officers, and above all parents to do more to fight the problem. Because bullying in Canada is a national disgrace.

It can shatter young lives

People who are bullied as children have twice the risk of having delusions, hallucinations or other psychotic symptoms as pre-teens as those who have not been bullied, British researchers said on Monday.

And sometimes it can kill them....

Speak up. Spread the word. Shout it out. Bullying is BAD.

Don't let it hurt the children....


  1. “I don't even call it violence when it's in self defense; I call it intelligence”

    -Malcolm X

  2. hi Jesse...I agree with you. I'm sorry this post was a bit confusing. You're not the only gay person to criticize what I wrote. I'm going to have to write another post to clear this up.

    P.S. Nice blog. I'm adding it to my blogroll... :)

  3. It's violence if you pick the fight; it's self-defence if you FINISH it. I wish there were a foolproof no-fight way to resolve the problem, but bullies really do not understand any other language. I just wish my parents had signed me up for karate classes back when I was young and puny enough to need them. (Mr. Miyagi is my hero!)

  4. hi Bina...thanks for clearing that one up. I think the problem was I had my own Mr Miyagi once who I greatly respected. And I could feel him looking over my shoulder as I wrote that post shaking his head and saying "So Simon... so angry...so FUTILE..."
    I really loved him and as for the Mr Miyagi he was excellent too... :)

  5. I did not mean to criticize you, I was just saying that sometimes we have to learn how to fight back. I agree that this should not have to be the case, we should be doing more as a society to stop this problem.

    ...and thanks for the comment :)

  6. hi Jesse...Oh I know you didn't...I just wasn't as clear as I should have been. So I had to write a whole new post to make up for it. Great eh?
    As for the comment you're welcome :)

  7. montreal pascale2:12 PM

    Your martial arts teacher may disapprove of using violence out of anger instead of self-defense, but a) bullies don't want to play with words, they want to play with their fists, and if they are verbal bullies, you still have teach your kid how to spar with words, not be afraid of name calling and swear words, and not come up with lame retorts, b) don't imagine him always disapproving, you must imagine your role models approving, or else it's just unnecessary self criticism, bad self-esteem.

    Personally I don't believe the school adults have any responsibility other than to report everything to parents and act as police. The problem is they often take sides with the bully because it's easier to "align with the winner than with the loser", and they will say it's not their job to teach kids how to fight, and they will hide behind principles that they don't even believe in, like "there must be no violence at all".

    Teachers were either bullies, bullied or ignored when they were young. If they were bullies, they will identify with the bully. If they were bullied, they were probably told that they did something wrong, "you should have fought back", so they will blame the victim. If they were ignored, they will think "why can't he be invisible like I was?". It's only today that parents have radical, dead-end principles that tie their kids hands while every other kid in school has his hands free to make fists.
    (And so on)

  8. montreal pascale2:18 PM

    Isn't it strange that there is nothing in Montreal re bullying?

    PS ok, I just saw the yellow message at the top. You can delete my previous comment about "where did it go" and this paragraph.

  9. hi pascale...thank you for your comment. And it is a good one. :)
    I find myself agreeing with everything you said, and your analysis of how teachers and parents feel is brilliant.
    But I always find myself asking what would I say to my children if I was a parent. Which luckily will never happen. Whew.
    If the child was a scrapper I'd probably say go for it, defend yourself, teach that bully a lesson.
    But if the child was gentler I don't know what I'd say. On the other hand I know what I'd say to the teachers at the school. My child is a gentle child and I like him or her the way they are. So while I can teach him or her to stand up for what is right, I expect you to protect him or her to the best of your ability.
    What I can say is that martial arts gave me added self confidence at a time when I needed it the most. So it worked for me, but would it work for every child I'm not sure it would.
    Teach kids at home and at school to respect the differences of others, and to stand-up for those who are being bullied, seems to me the best way to go...

  10. montreal pascale6:11 AM

    Jesse said Malcolm X said “I don't even call it violence when it's in self defense; I call it intelligence”. I think what he meant was self-defense is always acceptable (if the attack is not imagined). Self-defense may be violent and it may not be, and violence can be physical or not, it all depends. People who do not know how or when to defend themselves appropriately may be intelligent but they may have their hands tied. It's hard to go against what you were told by your parents, or to sort out contradictory or incomplete advice. Or maybe that's what intelligence is about... One's parents confusing advice can make one unintelligent. Unintelligent about that particular topic. When you are abused at home, you are never sure that you have a right to defend yourself.