Saturday, June 30, 2012

Teen bullying video kindles outrage across the nation

From (full story here):
The mother of a 13-year-old school girl from Tielt (West Flanders) has posted a video on Facebook to show how her daughter is being brutally bullied by other pupils. She put the footage online to support her daughter, hoping that such incidents can be avoided in the future.

The video goes back to last Tuesday. The victim is waiting at the Roeselare bus station when a group of other pupils from her school arrive. One girl starts bullying her, with the support of her friends and with one pupil making a four-minute movie.

The victim is being told to stand up. The verbal aggression is followed by physical aggression. The girl is being slapped in the face and kicked, and is being pulled by the hair several times.
This is the video. (Apparently it's not visible in Google Reader, so you'll have to click through to the post to see it.)

Kayleigh was bullied because she's an easy target - she has autism. These kids decided to make her last school day memorable by putting her through several minutes of physical and emotional abuse. Now the most shameful moment of their lives is online for all to see, and the reactions are unanimous.
The mother wanted to share the video to support her daughter and to make a statement. It worked: the film was shared over 70,000 times in a couple of days. Most viewers express their support for the victim and some have very hard comments towards the bullies. A Facebook hate group was created against the 15-year-old girl that takes the lead in the incident. She also received death threats.
The bullies now risk expulsion from school.

I'm glad to see the spotlight being put on bullying in such an explicit way. However, death threats are by no means the right way to stop bullying. The bullies are now receiving much of the same treatment they put Kayleigh through. If we want to make the world a better place, we need to condemn all kinds of harassment, including the revenge-based sort.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Belgium in the news, week 22

Francis Currey poses with the weapons he used to defend
his company in Malmedy, Belgium on 21 December, 1944.