For this post, I have decided to do things the other way around. Instead of putting my link to “He Was Weird” at the end, I’m starting with it because for this post it might be more effective this way. Let me begin by introducing you to a character from the story named David Fitzpatrick. He is described as a “weed of a boy” but he manages to surround himself with powerful friends. While he doesn’t openly bully Mark in the story, at least not when he’s alone, he seems to be often there behind the scenes when Mark is getting bullied. At one point, when Mark is getting beat up by another boy, David commences to wreck his bike. Even when he gets in trouble with the school and even threatened with police involvement from Mark’s mother, David wears it like a badge of honour and openly brags about it to people in front of Mark. This is probably why when Mark finally does get his revenge, his vengeance on David appears to be the worst.
As a teacher, I have often seen this type of bullying in schools. One child will deviously incite others to pick on the victim while claiming innocence the entire time. Any involvement in the bullying is difficult to prove as the antagonist is not openly engaging in any traditional bullying. I think this was what whoever declared that bullies are actually cowards might have been thinking about when they coined that phrase. Because in the instance of David Fitzpatrick and the person who influenced my creation of the character, he does get his comeuppance when another boy gets him one on one.
Of course the main problem here is, like all forms of bullying, is how to stop it. Like I said earlier, it is difficult to prove. One way could be to ask the physical aggressors why they chose a specific target. You’d be surprised, if a child thinks that it will get them out of trouble, they can be brutally honest. I know of cases where the ones doing the actual bullying turned in the person who set them upon the victim so this is one way. Of course, teachers and other adults in authority need to be trained on how to spot this type of bullying. Only when it is detected an brought more into the open can this indirect bullying be stopped.
Note: I know I must appear to be all over the place with my blog subjects jumping from Asperger’s to bullying to school shootings. The reasons for that are that my mind jumps all over the place and if I don’t post a subject when it’s in my head, it soon goes out the window. Also the three topics are the main focus of my book, so I hope that you’ll be flexible with me.
Next post: Exclusion, As Painful as Physical Bullying