Adult knowl­edge at young age can lead to bul­ly­ing

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Advertiser @ View -

Dear Ed­i­tor

As a for­mer teacher, I read with anger and ut­ter dis­gust the re­port on the in­ci­dents of bul­ly­ing at Coat­bridge High [Ad­ver­tiser, Novem­ber 1].

It cries out for a re­sponse, and raises some nag­ging ques­tions re­gard­ing in­di­vid­ual chil­dren and teenagers’ be­hav­iour and dis­ci­pline, or lack of it.

Chil­dren have be­come a pro­tected species suf­fer­ing from an over­dose of free­dom, which al­lows them to ex­plore al­co­hol, drugs, and sex­ual ac­tiv­ity – iron­i­cally, ev­ery­thing they should be pro­tected from.

They pos­sess adult knowl­edge at a young age, as­sisted by ex­po­sure to phones, com­put­ers, graphic con­tent in com­puter games; such me­dia ex­po­sure has a neg­a­tive im­pact on health and so­cial in­ter­ac­tion. TV and cin­ema also pro­mote vi­o­lence and anti­estab­lish­ment be­hav­iour; this in­flu­ence on chil­dren is all too of­ten ig­nored.

Con­se­quently, the gap be­tween child­hood and adult­hood is ex­tremely nar­row to­day and is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly flimsy.

Now to the case of a young stu­dent at­tend­ing school with all good in­ten­tions, and in re­turn at­tacked and bul­lied by a mind­less ring­leader, and lit­tle cronies and dis­ci­ples who are big shots in a group, but one- to- one are usu­ally cow­ards.

As usual, the in­no­cent vic­tim is forced out, giv­ing the bul­lies the op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate another tri­umph and in­crease their sick­en­ing sense of power over the school com­mu­nity as a whole, open­ing the door for the gang to seek out a new vic­tim.

Bul­ly­ing is one of the low­est forms of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour, more preva­lent than we imag­ine as many cases go un­re­ported. One ex­pla­na­tion is that chil­dren are brain­washed about “grass­ing some­body in” – a be­lief in­fec­tious amongst yobs who be­lieve they have the right to bully a per­son and not be held ac­count­able – spare us!

I take is­sue with the head teacher, who in­sists that bul­ly­ing al­le­ga­tions are “taken se­ri­ously”. If this is the case, why are th­ese hor­ri­ble events on­go­ing to the ex­tent that the vic­tim is now de­pressed and sui­ci­dal; how bad does it have to get be­fore some­one does some­thing about it?

Coat­bridge MSP Ful­ton MacGre­gor is run­ning true to form with in­ac­tion and pass­ing the buck to school staff, who in my opin­ion have failed hands down in not only their duty of care, but to­tally lack­ing in their sup­port to pro­vide a safe and com­fort­able learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment, as op­posed to a breed­ing ground for bul­ly­ing.

One can only echo the sen­ti­ments of many peo­ple in our com­mu­nity who would like to see an over­due re­turn of the right of par­ents, teach­ers and po­lice to dis­ci­pline chil­dren in an ap­pro­pri­ate man­ner – this could also in­clude sim­ple lessons in man­ners, re­spect, and val­ues that many chil­dren lack.

The prog­no­sis for any rad­i­cal changes to a so­ci­ety where the kids are in charge and not the adults is very poor in­deed.

Eric Queen, Air­drie

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