In the news yesterday, a video surfaced of a kid getting viciously beaten on his school bus in Bellville, Illinois. Other children watched, some cheering, others standing by, others still laughing. One or two looked like they possible wanted to step in, but nobody did. Why? Was it fear of getting hurt? Fear of being ostracized? Indecisiveness in a fraught moment? (By the way, the videotaped incident is hardly the only one in recent days. Google “school bus fight” and several different articles from across the country pop up, each telling a different horrific tale of student-on-student violence.)
The big question here is, how do we teach our kids to react better in incidents like these? While I’d like to know why – what the heck possesses a boy to whale on another the way those boys did – I suspect that’s a mystery only testosterone can explain. Barring that, I would seriously like to call for more peer counseling, training sessions in schools, and heck, maybe even student monitors or marshals on school buses to prevent violence. (Apparently, according to one source I read, the driver followed protocol and drove to a safe location and radioed authorites for help.) Meanwhile, at home, we’ve got to keep addressing the issue of bullying, and why it’s wrong.
Do you teach your kids to take a stand and help protect others who are being victimized? Or are you too afraid they’d get hurt if they get mixed up in a brawl? How would you yourself handle it if a fight broke out in front of you?
Watch the video, if you can stomach it, and then let us know your thoughts.