Bob Jones on Bullying

Bob Jones has found the cause of bullying in schools:

In recent years we’ve been deluged with news items on bullying in schools. A common medium is texting. Most of the cases, although not all, seem to involve girls in their early teens.

Reflecting on this, I can say adamantly that this behaviour was unknown in my school days. Boys gave others nicknames, which were never meant nor taken cruelly. I recall “Cod” on the ground that he resembled one, which he didn’t, but he took no offence, nor was it intended, and the last I heard he was a professor in Canada. I was a foundation pupil at Naenae College, ill-named as it’s not in Naenae, but regardless, it certainly wasn’t Eton and, lacking an established culture, a rough and tumble ambience prevailed. There were regular fist-fights, forgotten instantly they were over.

But bullying? Absolutely never. The sole fat kid, for example, if not “one of the boys”, was always treated kindly. Wet kids weren’t taunted and no one was cruel to a fellow pupil.

It will be interesting if older readers will say the same. If so, then what on Earth has happened to bring about this behaviour? Some possibilities spring to mind.

We have become sooks now, almost everything is labeled as bullying, but Bob Jones has got to the nub of the issue:

There’s a splendid private boys’ school in a hillside harbour setting in Wellington called Wellesley College. Years ago I heard that my then 9-year-old son, Nicholas, was in big trouble there. After lots of fobbing-off by his mother, I got to the bottom of it. There had been a meeting with him, his master, mother and a psychiatrist in the headmaster’s office. His crime? Brace yourselves – he’d hit someone.

I was dumbfounded. I’d hit hundreds of kids and been hit back in turn in my schooldays without this carry-on. Indeed, on that very day, Wellington’s newspaper was snivelling about me hitting someone.


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  • Name

    Feminization of schooling, basically because girls failed at sports, schoolyard games, math, woodwork and shop etc instead of trying to get them to improve they either removed them or dumbed them down considerably.

  • nasska

    Being bullied is unlikely to be the high point of any kid’s education but the vast majority of the recipients go on to lead full & enjoyable lives.

    What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

  • Lion_ess

    Not only sooks, but the feminazis most overused word is “offensive”. Anything can be labelled as offensive, and we must be careful we don’t offend anyone. Our education system is transforming kids – particularly boys, into brain-washed girl-like robots who lack any spark of maleness, individuality, or free-spirit.

    • kowtow

      “Inappropriate” is another favourite.

      • jay cee

        totally agree, that word always pisses me off. what may be inappropriate to you may be perfectly appropriate to myself and others.

  • Slijmbal

    mmmm in my 50s – we had enormous amounts of bullying and fighting. The fighting was a lot of the kids but the bullying would normally be a couple of ratbags. You had two choices become one of the “picked on” crowd or fight back. There was a sort of moral code in that the small, glasses wearing, bookworm kid would often have someone stick up for him and so he tended to get left alone after a while. It was Liverpool so culturally low level violence was pretty normal.

    One of my favourite memories was finally cracking about the age of 9 and practically mashing the nose of one of the class bullies. I had him in a headlock and just kept punching him in the nose until a teacher pulled me off. Got the cane for it but he ended up with a nose that would literally start bleeding if you flicked it. He never really bullied much after that.

    I assume nowadays I would be up in chains or some such for that action, kicked out of school etc.

    • El Jorge

      “until a teacher pulled me off” Were teachers allowed to pull off students back then? Was it a Catholic school?

  • redeye

    I don’t remember anyone in my school that was forced to grow up with 2 or more surnames. Could be a clue.

    • Lance

      True. In fact I don’t think I knew anyone with an automatic garage door when I was at school. It’s obvious that they are the cause of bullying.

  • Euan.Rt

    I went to a boarding school which in its day was considered one of the better ones (though it probably wasn’t, and certainly doesn’t rank now). We had several diplomats sons in the school and boys would return after holidays in maseratis, porches, rollers (and I’m talking 35 years ago. I particularly remember the son of the then Dutch ambassador who arrived midterm into our dorm. At age 13 he had always had servants to dress him and tidy up behind him. He didn’t even know how to make his bed. He got bullied – not physically – but he should never have been allowed in a boys school here in NZ and his parents figured that out after 6 months. But I wonder how he looks back on the experience now? I think he may be the better for it? I believe overcoming hurdles is a huge part of growing. I look at young people today and wonder if they too are known as ‘can do’ Kiwis? I am seeing plenty of gimme Kiwis.

    • pukakidon

      Yes but the type of bullying that happens now is down right sick. Remember the sticking of broomsticks up each others back passage, seems quite common now. I wonder where those deviants are now, probably teaching at some Primary school somewhere.

      You see girls really laying into each other as well, I cant remember seeing any girls fighting when I was young. Just did not happen in my circles. There were fights alright but a couple of punches and a black eye but nothing prolonged or sadistic.
      A good fight often ended up how to great mates met each other.

  • Neil

    Cool so none of you were bullied therefore it wasn’t a problem back then – sounds legit to me – LOL!!

    • Lion_ess

      Bullying occurs anywhere – often starting in the home with siblings and carrying on through kindergarten, school, the workplace – anywhere in fact. Best to develop the skills to deal with it – earlier rather than later.

    • Euan.Rt

      I for one was ‘bullied’ Neil. It was just that it was part of growing up where I came from. Nobody called it bullying – just bravado. I wasn’t one of the instigators – they tended to be the non-achievers. But teaching people how to handle it is much better in my opinion than making them out as victims.

  • Unitedtribes

    I need to go back to the 1960’s for this but in those days it was your responsibility to bully anyone in a form lower than you. It wasn’t actually bullying it was just what it was. The trouble I had was joining the 3rd form of a new school in the last term. This was a great opportunity for the rest of the 3rd form to get there own back on me. A quick hard kick in someones balls put paid to this and everything back to normal again. This was a boarding school so I refer mainly to the behavior of the boarders.

    • P1LL

      I remember in my “turd” form year when we all got some vaccination (I cant remember what it was for) everyone from 4th form up would punch us in the arm. when I broke a 5th formers nose after he hit me I never had a problem again.

  • 2ndAmendment

    Look – wimpy kids who look weird, won’t hit back hard are gonna get smashed at school, always have, always will. Hell I remember some kids never getting to spend their lunch money, always walking home cos bigger kids napped their bus fares.

    That’s what school is supposed to do – prepare you for life.

    And if you choose to be a loser at school, you’ll probably end up a loser for life.

    The problem with NZ, with the welfare west, is that everyone expects the state to pay for everything, to make everything ok with someone else’s money

    the whole idea of “bullying” is just another part of socialism – just part of the idea that everyone should be the same, rather than a few strong and many weak, a few rich and many poor!

  • viking

    Lots of the energy was run off with games like bullrush and so on.The softies got tougher and earned respect of their peers. The arsewipes got dealt to by the mob. Sorted stuff.
    Of course now I know why Jones learned to box. He probably needed to at Naenae college. Plenty of hard arses there around that time.Original home of the boggies and woggies of the time.

    Bugger all drugs around though plenty of piss heads. Carrying was unheard of. Mostly white population with parents who had experienced the war and worked hard at work. Plenty of work in places like Dunlop, Feltex, GM,Ford Todds ,Wills, Meter’s,Reid Rubber and so on.

    Generally tougher and less brain washed by PC rubbish.

    Most were taught;
    Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never harm you.

    Imagine that.

  • Muncie

    im about to offend various groups but here goes.Bob Jones is right.SOOKs or pussies.
    Some of it is for various reasons families split up.
    Theboys that stay with mom in a lot of cases are soft.
    (Cries of outrage) .Sorry girls I employed too brothers.Wat babies they were.
    Some boys that have been brought up by their mothers think they are the most important person in the world