I am opposed to violence, whether it's displayed by adults or children. I've always believed that violence is never the answer.
When raising our own family, I never, ever laid a hand on either of my kids, never cussed or screamed at them, like I've seen so many other parents do. I swore I would never do that and I kept my promise.
However, when it comes to bullies, sometimes, the only way to get through to them is for people to stand up to them and teach them a lesson or two.
Whether adult or child, bullies are cowards who pick on those they feel can't defend themselves. Did you ever see a bully go after someone he knows can defend themself? No way. They wouldn't take the chance of being humiliated in front of their peers.
I was also bullied terribly, back in seventh grade, by a tough cookie of a classmate, and her even tougher, bigger, older sister. I often thought they both could have tried out for the football team. Often the bullying occurred, in the hallway, or in class, right in front of teachers, who just stood there watching.
I tried ignoring it. I even went to the guidance counselor. That didn't help. In fact, the bullying got worse once everyone knew. Why do they think kids never tell the grown ups? Finally, when she threatened to punch me one day in class, I'd had enough. Even though my skinny knees were knocking, and I knew she could pulverize me, I stood up to her.
I stood up, raised my fists, and threatened to hit her back. Was it the right thing to do? Probaby not. We both got sent to the principal. Soon afterwards, her sister caught up with me and slammed me into a locker. Again, right in front of teachers.
But, hey, at the time, it was worth it because I'd stood up for myself for the first time in my life and it felt good. As for my classmate, she never bullied me again.
It's something I'll never forget. Constant bullying is something that stays with you forever. I think that's one reason why I later became a forensics nurse. To do whatever I could to help put a stop to such senseless violence.
Many years later, when we were a grown, I happened to run into the older sister in a store. We stood there, with our kids, and chatted for while. She looked like any other mother holding her baby on her hip. Not the pulverizer I remembered.
Surprisingly, she brought up her bullying past. And she actually apologized to me for her behavior way back then. Just goes to show people can change if they really want to.
In this video, which has gone viral across the web, one young bully, Richard Gale, after repeatedly taunting and punching Casey Heynes, a larger victim, finally got what was coming to him.
I know I'll probably get slammed on here for this. I'm sorry to have to say that but I believe it's true. Normally I would not advocate it, but sometimes, there comes a point when kids should have a right to defend themselves - within reason, of course.
In these days of kids bringing knives and guns to school, caution and cool heads are needed. It's a shame that appropriate intervention by teachers or administration didn't happen before it got to this point.
However, in this case, the victim finally stood up for himself, did what he had to do to get the bully off his back, without really hurting him, then walked away.
The victim showed enormous restraint considering the circumstances. Of course, the news media is reporting that the bully's mother is now demanding an apology from the victim who stood up to her son. Hmmm. And we wonder why her son is a bully?
Hopefully, Richard Gale has learned an important lesson which will stay with him throughout his life. And maybe, just maybe, sometime down the road, this young bully will also have the guts to apologize to his victims too.
Certified Forensics Nurse Examiner and Independent Consultant