In an earlier blog post, I had mentioned how bystanders of any type of abuse who did not report the abuse of a defenseless person was being unjustifiable. At this time I would like to expand on that discussion and put it into a new context: justice in the schools.
It is not uncommon to hear of bullying in schools. Children of all ages pick on each other and usually the defenseless ones are the victims. When students witness other students bullying or being bullied, their first reaction usually isn't to stand up for the bullied student. Instead, their first reaction is to run as far away from the bully as possible or to even join in the bullying. But this seems odd. How could one, or even a group of students, witness bullying in action and join in the on the bully's side? One reason is because they are afraid of going against the bully, no matter how badly the feel for the one being bullied, and they don't want to be deemed "weird" by the other students for walking away from an issue like that, much less to report it and be called a "tattle-tale". In fact, this happens all the time in schools. Name calling is one form of bullying that is easily over looked by people in schools. If one person start calling another person a "freak" or a "loser", a lot of times the bystander students will join in calling that same person a "freak" or "loser".
Name calling is a form of bullying that students usually get away with in school. Teachers don't normally catch the students who mutter under their breathe at a student the word "freak" and they don't see text messages going around calling someone "loser". But what happens when a teacher does witness this form of bullying and doesn't do anything about it? Normally, teachers will hear a bad name being tossed around and they yell at the students with a simple "That's enough" or "That's inappropriate" and continue on with their work. This is no more than a tiny slap on the hand. Students aren't afraid of being told something is wrong by their teachers. The only way to stop bulling fully is if true punishment follows after every bullying occurrence Since this may be close to impossible, teachers should do more than just tell a kid to stop. These students bullying other students are not being justifiable. But the adult teachers who witness these occurrences and do nothing about it are being beyond unjustifiable. It is teaching bullies that they can get away with any crime when facing an authority, bullied students to not have faith that their authority figures will protect them, and bystanders that it is okay to face unjustifiable situations like this and let it happen without bringing justice to the people involved.