Friday, April 22, 2005

The Difference between Bullying and Self-Defence

The friends of Nathan Jones, the boy who committed suicide as a result of bullying at school, have had their website closed down because of a complaint about the poem, which can still be read here... , from someone who allegedly bullied Nathan.

We here unequivocally salute the efforts of Nathan's friends to give him a fitting epitaph and to make manifest the truly terrible effects of bullying. We feel their actions were brave, fitting and desperately urgent. Too often we hear of instances of people playing down, ignoring or paying politically correct lip-service to the issue of school bullying. Finally, no longer. After reading this poem, no bully can go away without doubts about his behaviour and everyone else will realise that they must take this problem seriously and that this may require momentous change and creativity.

So how can it be right, when we deplore bullying, that someone feels bullied and upset by the poem? Quite simply, there is a moral justification for the actions of the poets. There is due cause to create upset since there is a difference between freely chosen, unprovoked bullying and legitimate self-defence. The poem falls into the category of the latter: the victims of bullying daring to stand and simply and importantly tell the truth.

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