Viral Bullying Video

You may have seen this video earlier this week – your students probably have.  It contains a couple of quite violent acts committed by two kids at an Australian high school.  Essentially a young bully is violently stopped by the boy he is tormenting.  Obviously I don’t condone violence as an answer and I make sure to squash that idea any time it’s brought up in a classroom.  However, I thought there were a few points worth noting.

  • The big kid doesn’t immediately retaliate to a punch in the face and refuses to attack while the bully is on the ground – he just walks away.
  • The bystanders don’t seem to know what to do initially.
  • The girl who steps in to de-escalate at the end perhaps stopped a lot more violence.
  • A video camera could be a powerful tool against bullying as well as encouraging it.

What do you think?

3 Responses to Viral Bullying Video

  1. John March 16, 2011 at 12:15 am #

    There is a move to ban such videos. However I think a video like this is a good way to stop violence. I also think that if the situation occurs I fully support the victim and any like him.

    The victim put up with it for 4 years and then defended himself appropriately while getting punched. Bullies continue unless they get stood up to. Yes it sends a message out to victims that bullies are cowards that only do it because they get away with it. However realising that might have stopped it escalating for 4 years and it also sends a message out to bullies that even after 4 years things can get unstuck .

    Those who are terrified of the viral video argue that a freak accident could happen whereby the bully could have been hurt more seriously but it was unlikely and didn’t happen and would be the exception that proves the rule. But people don’t have to be bullied just in case there is a freak accident affecting the bully. If someone robs someone and gets hurt in the process they brought it on themselves and if someone physically assaults someone who wants to be left alone (as in this case) and gets hurt in self defence they brought it on themselves. When you swim at the shallow end of the gene pool Darwin would say that you take a risk.

    By contrast if the bully kept punching the victim then the victim fell over and hit his head on something in a fluke accident and died that would be tragic. Likewise victims in their teen years often commit suicide after bullying and that also is tragic.

    The harsh reality is that there is a choice of two unlikely but potential risks – bully or victim. Justice demands that we make the choice that doesn’t put the victim at risk and support victims when they stand up and defend themselves.

  2. Anjan April 11, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    I get shivers down my spine watching this video. It’s really upsetting to see the victim just take the first punches without retaliation. Matt, you make some great observations. In particular, the boy walking away after taking out the bully clearly shows he had no desire to fight. Judging by the way he blocks the bully’s second punch, and the quickness with which he act seems to suggest a background of combat sports. Yet, he still takes the first few punches, and still walks away after the bully is on the floor; an act of great self control.

    It’s horrible to think that while this was going on, the bully’s friend(s) just watched and recorded the fight. They are equally guilty of bullying here, although I suppose the video worked out to their disadvantage.

    This video also ties in to cyber-bullying. In this case the video may help raise awareness, possibly boosting some victim’s self-confidence, or even make some bullies second-guess themselves, but these sort of recordings, especially combined with social media, also open up a relatively new doorway for bullies to harass victims, even after school hours, and in the comfort of the victim’s home..

  3. Aaron May 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    I think that this video sends the wrong message about dealing with bullies. By showing this video on major news networks, and even GMA, some people may get the impression that violence is the only way to stop bullying. Without an intelligent discussion preceding or following this video, I do not find it in any way helpful to curb bullying in schools. Obviously since news anchors always care about educating the citizenry (sarcasm intended) this did not occur thereby celebrating the use of violence.