We all need to stand up to bullies

By Martine Rolls

1 comment


There are only a few things I hate with a passion, and one of them is bullying.

It makes me sick how some people, young or not, have the notion that it is okay to hurt someone for no other reason than to show off, or to make themselves feel better in some sort of a warped way.

We had a story on Monday that dealt with bullying, and how experts believe it should be dealt with.

The article states that bullying in New Zealand schools is more than 50 per cent above the international average.

More than 6 per cent of students are bullied at least once a week and another report had found a third of school students had been threatened with physical violence.

Ian Grant, the co-founder of Parents Inc, said a generation of Kiwi children were being raised as "Peter Pans" who were easy targets for bullies. <inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

He said although violence should be treated as an absolute last resort, in a very few cases it could put an end to bullying.

"Sometimes you've got to stand up for yourself, and if that means hitting somebody else, I don't have any issue with that," he said.

I couldn't agree more.

Unfortunately, bullying doesn't stop at the schoolyard. Many people have experienced workplace bullying and as a consequence have suffered health issues such as stress, shortness of breath, irritable bowel syndrome, physical aches and pain, insomnia and so on.

Those who have suffered at the hands of a bully or bullies know too well the heartache and grief it causes.

They might want you out, but it is not always easy to find another job.

There have been some interesting articles on our website on workplace bullying.

Click here to find them.

A range of websites offer ideas and help for students, parents and teachers and there are also sites for people who are being bullied at work.

Just type the search words "bullying" and "help" into Google.

Kristy Smith said on our Facebook page that bullies and their parents should get counselling at their own expense until the problems are solved.

Teachers and principals should be held accountable if bullying is ignored or not treated seriously.

She also thinks that more funding from the Government should go to schools and staffing to make sure more eyes can be on playgrounds and school corridors to prevent bullying from happening.

"I think if a bully is stood up to and knocked down on their backside by a victim; the victim shouldn't be in trouble," she said.

Bullying is a huge problem in New Zealand and if anyone offers advice, it should be taken and not stupidly stated that it is a part of life and kids should just deal with it.

Kristy also says: "Kids need to learn to stand up for themselves but some children are pacifists, should they get picked on and beaten up just because they have evolved into a better mind set? I think change is good and low tolerance on violence and bullying can only help our children to become better people."

Claudia Kansley commented that there is one lesson she will always remember from her dad.

"Do not hit others unless they do it first. But if they do, close your fist as hard as you can and aim for the tip of their nose. Even the biggest boys will drop and cry!"

Well Claudia, I think you and your dad are right. I am certainly not preaching violence but when those nasty kids back in school tried to have a go at the little freckled ginger girl with glasses, that was me, I figured I had two choices.

I could cower, hide in a corner and cry my eyes out, or I could retaliate.

I decided the last one was a better option, so I took out the biggest one in the group with one well-aimed blow. No one bothered me again after that.

Back to Facebook, Jo McIntosh suggests sending kids to martial art classes so they can learn to protect themselves.

Good idea. Maybe the bullies should get sent to martial arts as well. It's a good way to learn some discipline.

I think that all schools and workplaces should have zero tolerance for this sort of behaviour, but I also think that kids as well as adults should learn how to stand up for themselves.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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