You want to know what happens when schools, parents, and communities don’t do anything about bullying? One of three things:
1. The victim to the bullying endures horrible physical, emotional, and/or mental suffering;
2. The victim to the bullying either goes on shooting rampages or commits suicide, as we’ve sadly learned, or rather, finally acknowledged this year; and,
3. The victim to the bullying fights back, because no one else protects him, only to face punishment.
Which brings me to the story of a 16-year-old Australian boy who rightly deserves to trump Justin Bieber as the new teen dream.
So, for anyone, young or older than 16 (because apparently that’s what makes you old these days), if you’ve ever been bullied, allow me to introduce you to your new hero:
Casey had been tormented every day of his short high school life. And after years of bullying, he snapped – both literally and figuratively.
In a video [seen here] that has now gone viral, the besieged kid gets taunted and punched in the face by a scrawny bully, while other students laugh and videotape the incident. Still, Casey impressively keeps his cool.
But, after more hits and jeers, he can take no more, and Casey lifts the piece of dreck antagonizer and smashes him down onto the concrete face first. (Well, some may say smash, others may cheer body slam.)
It could have been a Rice Krispies’ commercial with all those snaps, crackles, and pops.
Clearly, and audibly, the bully was hurt, especially when his leg connected with the wood bench on the way day. There are no reports to be found on his condition, but you can see in the video he appeared to be injured. (And, below, in the alleged picture of him, on crutches.)
A story in the Sydney Morning Herald stresses that this video may encourage more acts of bullying. The paper quotes a bullying expert as saying that rather than acting as a warning about the dangers of bullying, the video was ''allowing people to revel in a violent spectacle.”
It’s not violent spectacle in which people revelled however. People revelled in the fact that somebody, at long last, addressed a bully. Somebody stood up to (and smacked down) a bully when nobody around him would help.
It’s not the act of violence that appeals to us, because the only act of violence in this video came from the snotnose concrete sniffer. It’s the act of self-defence, and self-empowerment that appeals to us, because it is so rare.
Casey got suspended for his actions, and may face criminal charges. Criminal?
Criminal is the kid who picked on him and how he was apparently not punished at first (well, by anyone other than Casey), but since has (only) been suspended as well.
“Casey the Punisher” is a fan page on Facebook – one of many odes to the unofficial anti-bullying poster boy. Until the bully was also suspended, comments were littered with outcry over the “unfair” punishment.
Still, almost every person who has voiced his or her opinion is upset and argues that Casey shouldn’t be disciplined at all.
By punishing the victim it suggests he is at fault, and sends a message of fear to other victims. If you report a bully, you get in trouble. If you defend yourself against a bully, you get in trouble.
Statistics don’t show the whole story, and do vary from country to country, but according to bullyingstatistics.org, about 50 per cent of middle school students have been bullied. And about 25 per cent of students overall experience this on an everyday basis.
And what are we doing to stop this? Punishing victims?
Who are we trying to scare?
And why is that Casey got bullied – for years? Teachers never noticed? Nobody ever knew?
If Casey had not fought back, he would have been forced to endure more bullying – more fights. If the kid would never have bullied Casey there would never have been any fight.
Today, the future WWE star is laying low. A friend of the family says they don’t want any further publicity from this. At a time when the most well-known faces of bullied victims are dead ones, this is unfortunate.
Because Casey Heynes has brought a new face to bullying – an about face.