Saturday, January 29, 2011

No Fault Bullying

Yesterday a group of preteen boys on their way home from school passed by outside. Two of them threw the third into a high mound of snow, screaming at him. I couldn't make out the words, but they sounded threatening as they stood over him. I couldn't see if they were roughing him up but feared they would. I was about to call the police when the two boys standing over the third began to run down the block and the third rose unsteadily, shook the snow off and followed them.

Then I saw a police car cruising by. I'm guessing a neighbor called.

I'm glad that the situation was broken up but it reminded me of the fact that often bullies and the bullied run from authority figures. It's not that the bullied couldn't have explained what happened, but that he chose not to. Perhaps he feared retaliation. Based on what I saw that would be a reasonable reaction - let's not make this worse.

Of course running doesn't make it better either.

A stark reminder that between 17 and 19% of children reported being bullied on a weekly basis in their schools or neighborhoods

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