Monday, January 16, 2012

The effects of bullying last forever....

I WAS bullied at school. This was the 1960s and it was seen then as part of growing up.

You didn't dob or you'd be hammered behind the shelter sheds. You didn't tell your parents as they would simply say it was part of learning to be a man.

To be a man, I joined the school cadets. It was here that I understood what institutionalised bullying was all about. If you wore a peaked cap and had pips on your shoulder epaulets, that sanctioned you to do exactly what you liked.

I was humiliated and beaten. I lasted a year. I still have an aversion to seeing army uniforms.

It was some comfort that when I left school and began training as a teacher that I realised that there was a raft of literature devoted to bullying. I was not alone. I read of Australia's legendary ballet dancer Robert Helpmann and how he was bullied unmercifully at school because he could dance.

And I read with gut-turning revulsion the frank admission of the historian Manning Clark, how when he was a student at Melbourne Grammar, the terrors of the notorious long dorm were visited on him and he was subjected to what he described as the "theatre of cruelty".

When I became a teacher I entered the classroom feeling for the broken and bereft, the small, the timid, the socially outcast, the dull, the nerdy kids and the students who were gay.

The daily terror that gay boys felt of being discovered or even suspected is a lingering reality. It still continues today. If you are called a "fag", you will be a school leper.

This is why the campaign against bullying of all kinds is long overdue.

When I began teaching, computers were not commonplace. Cyber bullying was unknown, not to mention texting or sexting. It is hard to imagine a more pernicious and devastatingly insistent form of harassment. It only takes one word, one image.

TPT: "Bullying is one of the worst forms of abuse that can be taken out on a young individual we must connect as a population; from parents to young adults to make positive strides in creating a bully free society!"

To Read More Of The Featured Story: Click Here

No comments:

Post a Comment