The recent tragedy regarding the issue of Bullying has again, demonstrated that current solutions just aren’t effective in solving this problem. We can all agree to get along, love each other, tell teachers, and take action when we see bullying happen, but in the end nothing seems to have changed. However, let’s also remember that not all aggression is bullying. For very young children, under the age of 6, the literature discusses “rough and tumble play” where children are likely to wrestle, push each other, and engage in physical play that isn’t, by definition, considered bullying. But as they age and begin to move through the grades, children learn very quickly that there are bullies at their school. In Grade 6, I experienced that type of situation, as I’m sure, many of you did as well. In my case, this individual who was in grade 8 took grade satisfaction in spitting on me whenever possible, and on one occasion shot me with a sling shot in the head, rendering me unconscious. It went on until no one would do anything so in an utter rage I just jumped him and tried to throw him to the ground. He got the better of the situation, but never bothered me again.
I’m not suggesting that this strategy would work today; instead, I am suggesting allowing children and teens experiencing the impact of bullying to do what we do as adults. We LITIGATE. We fight back in a socially acceptable manner. I am suggesting that children and teens be taught the method to file a claim, have lawyers assist and ask for $2,000 in penalties each from the parent of the bully and the bully him/herself (total of $4,000). For the next offense, it would be $8,000 and a third $20,000. Lawyers could be provided on a contingency fee basis only for30% of the claim and only if the child wins the case. Create a web site where the child or teen can download the complaint forms, file evidence, and serve the individual. I am not a lawyer, but current legislation may already be in place to allow this to happen. If not, perhaps the federal politicians can get together and pass a “bully litigation bill” to empower the victims to take action. What is necessary is to provide victims with the tools to get control of these types of situations to avoid depression and the other psychological issues that arise from being victimized. Victims need the tools to take action against their perpetrators.
One effective way we know of changing the type of behaviour that bullies exhibit is to punish them. Smacking them and their parents in the mouth with litigation is a logical consequence to this behaviour. Teaching the victims to take control of their lives, to fight back in a legally acceptable manner is also a crucial life lesson. Oh, and lets’ also allow for “school class action” where a group of victims who have experienced a bully can join forces and litigate for multiples of thousands of dollars. It’s time we empower our children. Your comments on this idea would be appreciated.