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Reality of bullies

04 December 2012, 15:00

Practically every day we read of bullies in schools and what is most shocking is parents of bullied children, the school or even the education department turn to look the other way. And wipe their hands in innocence. We have dramatically seen the death of a bully as a consequence of his actions. 

This tragedy could have been averted had there been more and better supervision in classes and the playing fields. Some say good riddance and some look the other way. While the lackadaisical attitude to bullying in schools pervades then it will carry on growing and suck more bullies into the arena:  creating a sense of superiority and a figure of heroic abilities. What I do remember of bullies during my school years is they tended to fail their standards and were not up to standard compared to the other  learners in the class.  In fact the normal learner is posing  a problem to the bully and thus creating a sense of inferiority. Humiliating the bully and thus worsening the situation.    

While I was in high school I was targeted by the bullys and in my case it was due to the fact that I spoke English.  Other English boys and girls, too, were forced to run barefoot over the burning coals.     

I resided in a hostel with 5 other English speaking boys and all of us were used for personal skivvies by the seniors:  washing underpants, ironing school uniforms, collecting meals at the kitchen, cleaning their shoes and washing stinking socks. And standing  guard while they are having a smoke. Scratching their backs and  expressing their pimples and black-heads. On long weekends we were refused permission to leave the hostel while the bully-boys were still present.    

Rugby for bully-boys is the ideal game because there they had the physical strength and the back-up of teachers who condoned their behaviour and tactics. During those years violence on the rugby field was accepted as part of the game. My team had never won a game yet we received the recognition of winning the fights.   

During one of these games the ball was kicked in my direction but I failed to catch it. After the game I was practically dragged to the hostel, held up against the wall and beaten with fists until I was vomiting blood and passed blood from my colon. My one eye was beaten shut. For several days I urinated blood and not allowed to visit the matron(nurse). During that beating I was forcibly reminded that I will never make the springbok team. 

That was the last game of rugby I ever played. During one o0f the previous training stints I tackled a senior while he was approaching my tryline. He came down on top of me and while getting up the coach, a teacher, was shouting at the senior:  Skop die blixem, skop hom dood. I ended up with a dislocated jawbone. All these actions and reactions are born from the seeds of bullying. All could have been prevented had parents, teachers schools and the relevant departments done their jobs more efficiently.      

Some years later, I and a friend were sitting in a restaurant waiting for service when this huge guy comes to our aid. He was the main bully yet he could not look me in the eye. I asked him what was he up to and was told that he wanted to attend university but his fathers farm had financial problems.   The bully was a waiter.
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