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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Action Required to Stop Bullies

Political journalist Dr John Coulter maintains legal constructive action, not fancy rhetoric, is required to eradicate the scourge of school bullies - before illegal vigilante rule is used to strike back at so-called classroom thugs


Dr John Coulter • 25 November 2006

Teen yobs and playground bullies should be named and shamed in the media – but we need a legislative Assembly to make this a legal reality.

This month saw Anti-Bullying Week across the North when a lot of well-meaning people and groups mouthed off about all the wonderful things they were doing to make our schools safe from classroom thugs.

But the real core of the problem is that many of these teen thugs think they are untouchable physically because the cane has been banned, and above the law because of their age.

A severe ticking off, detention, suspension and even Anti Social Behaviour Orders are seen as badges of honour by these scum.

In the North, a number of young people have already committed suicide – or have threatened suicide – because they saw death as the only real escape from pea-brained bullies, many of whom are beyond the control of their parents.

How many more deaths or nervous breakdowns will it take before our politicians decide to focus on the human rights of the bullies' victims?

MLAs and MPs should build on Anti-Bullying Week by pledging a future legislative parliament will give the two fingers to human rights bureaucrats and bring back the birch in schools specifically for thug pupils.

Urgent action is needed against these classroom yobs before a vigilante culture is established with groups such as the rumoured Dads Against Bullies stalking and threatening known teen bullies.

Already there are allegations some bullies from Co Armagh have had £2,000 bounties put on their heads with the cash going to the first person to leave each bully permanently confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.

There have even been suggestions the mother of one known Co Antrim bully is being followed by vigilantes reportedly claiming she will be given the kicking every time her early teens son picks on a child.

British Home Secretary and potential Deputy Prime Minister John Reid, the first Catholic Northern Secretary, has already confirmed parents could be hit with heavy fines for their kids' yobbish behaviour.

This so-called yob culture in schools must include bullying. Society has got to be seen to be taking more than a firm hand with the teen thugs – the parents must feel the clout of the courts' iron fist. When the bullies hit children, the courts hit the mums and dads in the pocket.

Parents who have to cough up £5,000 every time their supposedly uncontrollable brat bullies an innocent child at school will soon learn to exercise some efficient discipline in the home. And if the parents refuse to pay the fine, there should either be compulsory docking of wages, or a mandatory six-month jail term.

And the law must be changed to allow the media to name and shame both convicted bullies and their parents – no matter what the age of the young brats.

Likewise, tough borstal regimes must be introduced to house repeated bullying offenders who are even beyond the control of heavily-fined parents.

Hopefully, in the weeks to come following Anti-Bullying Week, we will not have to endure a load of pious rhetoric and slogans about the need to face down the social cancer of bullying. The parents and families of bullied children demand their democratic rights for positive action.

The message is simple – use an iron gauntlet policy to drive bullying out of our schools before more victims kill themselves, or perhaps even worse, vigilante mobs lynch either the bullies or their parents from a lamp post.

Politicians ignore this message at their peril because its only a matter of time before these same lamp posts carry Wild West-style posters proclaiming – Wanted for Bullying, Dead or Maimed, £2,000 in cash.























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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

3 December 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Forensic Framework Unravels
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RUC Killing of Irish-American To Become Issue in New Congress
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F's All Around
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Loose Ends
John Kennedy

The People of No Principle
Geraldine Adams

Policing, a Bridge Too Far for Republicans?
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Conway Mill Debate
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Not Too Late for a United Front
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Afraid of the Voice of the People
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Ideals Live On
Dolours Price

Ray McAreavey

Poetry in Motion
Lord Falls

Michael Pebble
Anthony McIntyre

Action Required to Stop Bullies
Dr John Coulter

O'Shea is Right on Aid Policy
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Ministerial Own Goal
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‘Beyond the Veil: Perspectives on Muslim Women in a Western Secular Context’
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19 November 2006

The Bogeyman
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Believe It Or Not
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Contra Con Artists
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The Wrong Kind of Republican?
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Equality Agenda: British Rhetoric and Reality
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A Deal Done By Quislings
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Dr John Coulter

Deadline? Pull the other one!
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Political Policing
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It's Not The Taking Part
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Who Can Get Dr No to Say Yes?
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Equality or Equity
Michéal MháDonnáin

Michael Gillespie

Revolutionary Unionism
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Who Needs Enemies
John Kennedy

The King's Threshold
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