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.