Over on youtube, there’s a video from a school in Australia, of a kid who fights back against a bully. A website covers it here in a lot of depth. The Daily Mail covers it as well… including what I find outrageous, that the stupid idiots in charge of the school suspended both Casey and the bully for four days.

Why does this piss me off? Because the bully is clearly trying to start a fight. Casey doesn’t throw the first punch… or even the first several. The bully has two of his friends there to “back him up.” Even after the one bully is taken care of, the others are there trying to step in and pull Casey into another fight.

And if you listen to the audio and read some of the other coverage, you find out that the attack was brought on by the fact that Casey had tried to report the ongoing bullying to school officials. They were attacking him specifically to try to make him shut up and not report their behavior. A subtitled version (rechecked) makes it clear:

When I was younger, I went through situations precisely like this. Cornered “out of sight” of the teachers (who didn’t WANT to be involved because it meant paperwork and potential lawsuits for them no matter which kid “won”), then physically attacked. There was no video to show what happened to me. After defending myself against a worthless shit of an F-level student who didn’t care if he went in and out of detention on a revolving door schedule, I found myself in a 3-day suspension from our fuckwit of a vice principal who believed “there’s no such thing as a bully” and who demanded my parents see about “counseling” me for being in a fight rather than “walking away” (where the FUCK was I supposed to get to, being cornered by 3 kids?) or “calling for help” (which I had done, but no teacher responded until I was already physically attacked). I failed a test based on in-class handouts in science class because I wasn’t given the study materials by the science teacher, who said “students who miss class don’t get the handouts so there” (despite the fact that if you were out sick, he’d have it prepared for you when you got back).

I applaud Casey. I agree wholeheartedly with this comic. It takes a lot to stand up to a group of bullies, especially when it’s 3 on 1.

Oh, and to Tina Gale, the crocodile-tear-spewing mother of the bully who got what he deserved: I am sorry you inflicted your genes on the next generation by spawning that reprehensible bully. Now grow the hell up and change the way you’re raising your brat.


About the Author

Guy Webster (web) is an IT specialist at Southern Tech University, where he and Will Truman attended college.

22 Responses to Fighting Back on Bullying

  1. Transplanted Lawyer says:

    I’m not entirely sure I’d call this “bullying.” “Bullying” implies that the bully has some sort of an advantage to exploit.

    The aggressor is a skinny little kid much smaller than the kid he’s punching. Yeah, the aggressive kid is way out of line and he has friends cheering him on, while the bigger is alone. But it was obvious at the start of the video that the bigger kid could readily defend himself in a fight, and after he took three hits, he took care of business. It will be a while before anyone messes with Casey again.

    “Bullying” would have been if Casey and two of his friends of similar size and age were doing this to the skinny little kids. This is “aggression,” yes, but not all aggression is bullying. We can’t know for sure what happened before the video started, either.

    But it’s odd that when a littler kid starts a fight and gets pile-drived by the bigger kid, we praise the bigger kid as a hero and condemn the little kid as a bully. Slapping those labels on the participants doesn’t change the reality. It seems sufficient to say that the kid who apparently started the fight was out of line and got what he deserved. As to Casey, it’s sufficient to not condemn him.

  2. web says:

    I’m not entirely sure I’d call this “bullying.” “Bullying” implies that the bully has some sort of an advantage to exploit.

    The advantage he has is (a) he and his friends have apparently been doing this for years and (b) he has 3 or 4 of his friends there as well.

    “Bullying” would have been if Casey and two of his friends of similar size and age were doing this to the skinny little kids. This is “aggression,” yes, but not all aggression is bullying. We can’t know for sure what happened before the video started, either.

    Actually, the news reports make it pretty clear:
    – They have been doing this for a long while to Casey.
    – Casey reported it to school officials and this attack was a reprisal for reporting the bullying to them.

    But it’s odd that when a littler kid starts a fight and gets pile-drived by the bigger kid, we praise the bigger kid as a hero and condemn the little kid as a bully. Slapping those labels on the participants doesn’t change the reality. It seems sufficient to say that the kid who apparently started the fight was out of line and got what he deserved.

    Sorry, but no. I don’t know what situations you may have experienced, but I’m pretty sure you were lucky enough not to experience serious bullying of the type I recognize from this video all too vividly.

    I was bullied by bigger kids and smaller kids alike. They tend to travel in packs of at least 3 or 4; you know that they will send one in to attack you, you don’t know which one, and you know that if you try to run then they’ll all jump you. Even if you defeat that first one, the rest will jump you as a group in “revenge” for their bully buddy. And indeed if you watch the video THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS. The small bully loses, so his bigger friend steps in – the one who told the girl in the background to “F*ck off, ya fat c*nt” – and gets ready to attack.

  3. trumwill says:

    I could have sworn that I wrote a post on the dynamics of the policies in which all participants in any fight get punished, but I can’t find it. The long and short of it is: it’s disgustingly unfair, though I don’t know that it isn’t more effective than the alternative.

    Looking at this video, I find it very hard not to side with Casey. The video gives me flashbacks. The dopey big kid. The hyper little one. Memories best forgotten.

    TL, size is not the determinant that you’re making it out to be. Not even close. I was one of the largest kids in my class. That merely put a bigger target on my back. And some of my biggest bullies were relatively small kids. In fact, the only time I can recall ever “getting physical” was with a kid half my size. These kids have two “advantages”. First, they often have friends. So even if you were to assault them and win, you run the risk of picking a larger fight that you can’t win. Second, if they don’t care if they get in trouble and you do care whether you can in trouble, that’s an extraordinarily amount of leverage. The same goes (though not in this case, apparently), if the big kid is simply afraid of fighting. These kids know both of these things and so it makes bullying, regardless of size, very possible.

    Web, I actually agree with TL to some extent that, without knowing more, lionization may or may not be appropriate (though condemning/punishing him is inappropriate). The fact that he went to school administrators and they did nothing could mean one of two things. Either they “don’t want to get involved” (or lack justification/verification to do so) or they didn’t get involved because Casey himself is a problem.

    One of the things I learned very, very quickly when substituting, is that when it comes to making appeals to teachers for disciplinary problems, troublemakers do it more than anyone else. Sometimes they’re telling on kids that they’ve goaded. Sometimes they’re just making things up (at least I think).

    Whether this applies to Casey or not, I don’t know. But I don’t know that it doesn’t.

    But to repeat: I agree that the disciplining is way out of line when we have verifiable proof of how he fight unfolded.

  4. trumwill says:

    The more I think about it, the more I really come down on the side of Casey here. Not just because it’s clear that the other kid started (this particular) altercation, but because after Casey made his move, he just got his stuff and he (more or less) just walked away. It makes the claim that he was acting in defense much stronger. Once he had him on the ground, he didn’t continue the offensive which he very well could have.

  5. Meadowlark says:

    In for a penny, in for a pound. If he was going to get suspended, he might has well have pounded the twerp when he was on the ground.

  6. Transplanted Lawyer says:

    Don’t think for a second that I’m defending the skinny kid who provoked Casey, web. I’m taking issue with calling it “bullying” and I agree that his having friends around is a relevant issue.

  7. web says:

    TL – Will recognizes this situation all too vividly. I recognize it through similar scenes from my own childhood.

    We also have the news reports and reports from Casey’s family. This is not an isolated incident, but the culmination of a longstanding sequence of similar events in which this group of boys decided to go after Casey. The reason they chose to pick on him this particular day was in retaliation for his reporting the earlier events. In other words, he did the so-called “right thing” and the end result was that the “responsible adults” from the school did precisely jack shit, save for letting the bullies know that their conduct had been reported.

    Think about that.

    This is bullying. From where I stand, definitively and unquestionably, the conduct of the “skinny kid” and his friends is bullying.

    Saying something different is a lot like the old middle school VP I had who insisted “there is no such thing as a bully, just misunderstood kids who need some help.” And while he was busy “understanding” and “helping” those bratty bullies, the rest of us were getting attacked and beat up.

  8. Maria says:

    The bully got what he deserved. The school is beneath contempt.

  9. stone says:

    I’m with Web. Because I’m a woman, I’m particularly sensitive to the harm caused by group attack and I don’t care much about size. The problem is the aggressive, harassing, intimidating behavior of the instigating kid, and the fact that he is backed by others.

  10. chic noir says:

    Sorry about your experience web.

    *the sprit of whiskey enters chic noir*

    I hate hate hate bullies. I did my part to stop the bulilng of other kids, which kinds lead to be me being called a bully.

    *chic noir shrugs shoulders*

    I had a kid try to bully me put because I come from a large family and I don’t believe I should be on the receiving end of someone else’s BS, it didn’t last long.

    My mom taught me to tell the teacher but that shit is worthless most of the time. I swear I feel like sometimes the teachers are in on that crap.

    My dad taught me that if someone hits me, to hit them back. Once I took my dad’s advice, the bully retreated. I guess it helped that by 4th grade I was as tall as most adults.

  11. chic noir says:

    +2 for the bully boy’s mom.

    I don’t feel sorry the bully boy. He got what was coming to him. It never ceases to amaze me how smaller children can pick on bigger children without a bit of fear.

  12. chic noir says:

    *chic noir comes back for just one more comment*

    Punishing the bullied kid as well as the bully is like punishing the rape victim and the rapist. Or arresting a bugler and the person whose home was burglarized.

    Violence may not the answer but the threat of violence will make some people think twice about their actions.

  13. trumwill says:

    The reason they chose to pick on him this particular day was in retaliation for his reporting the earlier events.

    I’ve seen a couple of references to that, and suggestions that it’s in the video, but I’m not seeing that in the video itself. The Bully is saying that Casey was “talking shit”, but not what and to whom.

    (This isn’t to suggest that Casey was indeed doing what he was accused of. Bullies often make stuff up or blow relatively innocuous things out of proportion. In junior high, a kid who called me a chubalard felt “disrespected” when I said the equivalent of “whatever.”)

  14. Brandon Berg says:

    Is it just me, or does that look really dangerous, to the point of being potentially crippling or fatal if he had landed just a bit differently?

    Not that I personally think the world would be any worse off for the loss of a person who chose to inflict wanton cruelty on another, but I guess I can see the rationale behind suspending a student for dropping another student head first on concrete.

  15. web says:

    Brandon,

    in order to stop a bully (or even exercise reasonable self-defense in any case, against a human or otherwise) and be able to walk away, you have to hit your assailant with enough force that they are at least stunned if not outright incapacitated. Many martial arts schools will tell you what they consider the quickest ways are to do this – whether it involves breaking limbs, traumatizing the neck/head, or otherwise. The point of self-defense is YOUR survival, not your assailant’s.

    This got the job done.

    There is always “an element of risk” in a fight. As I mentioned earlier, I dealt with fights myself. In one of the fights I had when cornered by one of the bully gangs at my school, I managed to catch my attacker (the others were merely standing by blocking me from retreating) by the hair and smashed him facefirst into a brick wall.

    There is a certain possibility that this could have killed him. But then again, there is a certain possibility (called “commotio cordis”) that even a punch to the chest can cause this.

    The point is doing enough to the bully to be able to walk away before he recovers. Casey’s move accomplished this and he did NOT go for more afterwards. Bravo for him.

  16. trumwill says:

    Brandon is right that what Casey did really was dangerous. I would be more concerned about the disproportionality if there were signs of premeditation, but there really weren’t. And when in the thrusts of a fight, I am inclined to agree with Web that you do not worry as much about proportionality. I think it’s a mistake to focus on that.

  17. Maria says:

    The fat kid obviously just lost it after being tormented repeatedly for months. That’s why he reacted so aggressively.

  18. Mike Hunt says:

    From what I have read elsewhere, the bully got much a much stiffer sentence than Casey.

    I don’t know which source is more accurate.

    As an aside, I find it scary that anyone is taking the bully’s side. It makes me wonder if they were shitheads too growing up, or are still…

  19. trumwill says:

    I don’t think anyone is taking the bully’s side, per se. The two camps are “bully got what he deserved” and “blame in equal parts.”

    I’ve heard pretty consistently that it was a four-day suspension for each. Though I have also heard that the bully’s family has been getting an earful. Apparently, Australian media does not have the same custom as US media about shielding minors’ names.

  20. web says:

    Mike Hunt,

    The only news reports coming from credible sources in Australia indicate that both boys were given a 4-day suspension.

    Unless you can provide links otherwise? I’m not finding anything different.

  21. Mike Hunt says:

    According to TMZ, the bully got 21 days, the victim got 4. I can’t speak to credibilty.

    trumwill: I don’t think anyone is taking the bully’s side, per se. The two camps are “bully got what he deserved” and “blame in equal parts.”

    You are correct. I am amazed that people think the blame should be equal. I think this is a question on the teacher exam. If you think the blame is equal, you pass.

  22. web says:

    “TMZ spoke with a family member of one of the kids … who told us the bully was suspended for twenty-one days following the incident and the kid being bullied was suspended for 4 — since he was violent as well.”

    I’m not sure what credibility this one has. ACA, who interviewed Casey on Sunday, was still reporting as of Sunday night that each boy had received the same (4-day) punishment and that administrators were “considering” additional punishment while “reviewing” the situation.

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