Australia sure has some interesting things going on with the subject of how they handle and talk about bullying. I found two stories recently that, interesting enough, contradict opinions of how bullying should be handled in Australia. It’s the same boy in the stories and check out the outcome. Read the first story and then the follow-up:
The first story concerns an education official. Here’s an excerpt:
“A woman who sought help after her six-year-old son was throttled by an older student was told by an education official that bullying “builds character”, a court heard today.”
It’s quite a disturbing notion. Of course the education official does not define what kind of character bullying builds. Sure, it builds character, but is that the kind of character traits we want?
The, after that disturbing story, here’s the outcome. The Australian court just awarded the boy who was of bullyied a huge amount of money to cover the psychiatric damage that the bullying caused.
“An Australian teenager has won record damages after a court found that his school “grossly failed” in its duty to protect him from a school bully. Benjamin Cox, now 18, was regularly teased and beaten from the age of five by an older pupil, leaving him with psychiatric problems, a court heard. He was awarded $213,000 (US$177,000, £90,000) plus a lifetime income that is likely to take his payout beyond $1m.”
Now, that kind of punishment might start preventing bullys from acting in the first place. It amazes me how this was handled and the outcome is hard to believe..