Keeping with tradition, whenever I write a series of posts about books dealing with bullying and school shootings, I always save my book, “He Was Weird,” til last. I realize that the continuity of the series of posts on the school’s role in literary bullying was broken last week due to my post on my thoughts on my mother in law’s passing. However, I make no apologies for that as I felt the need to write that post right then and there. So with no further interruption, here’s my post on schools in “He Was Weird.”
In an ideal world, I would love to tell how the schools in the story were absolutely useless in dealing with the bullying that Mark went through and led to him shooting up the school. However, this is not an ideal world and if I’m honest, the schools in the story were not useless, they tried. During an incident early in the book, which I call “The Episode,” where Mark is beaten up and his bicycle wrecked. The school does its job and taking the two boys responsible to task. Furthermore in the story, when Mark is bullied in middle school, the school does its best to deal with the pain that he is suffering.
The best example of the above is “The Smiley Incident,” when Mark is indecently assaulted by a substitute teacher. The school does its job in bringing the perpetrator to justice and cannot be faulted. Likewise, when the bullying becomes unbearable, the school does its best to remedy the situation. So, for the most part, the school really isn’t to blame for the bullying Mark suffers and results in murder.
What you might be asking yourself is “Why did Mark shoot up the school if the school isn’t responsible?” Let me point out a sad truth when it comes to bullying in school. The school can’t be everywhere. Furthermore, it isn’t able to extend its authority beyond school. While some bullies leave Mark alone in school, they make sure they get him outside of it, especially now that he had gotten them in trouble. Plus, he is bullied so much that not every instance of school bullying he is a victim of gets reported. Otherwise, he would practically spend his school days in the office reporting bullying. There is also the added fact that some bullies, like David Fitzpatrick, wear their punishment for bullying Mark as a badge of honour thus making him feel that going to the school hasn’t worked. It is facts like these that eventually drive him to carry out his school shooting.
One ironic and unique part to “He Was Weird” is that I as the author, don’t hold the school responsible in being unable to stop Mark’s bullying, some of the victims of his shooting spree do. At least their parents and the lawyers do. As a result of the shooting, the school is sued by several of the parents of the victims on the grounds that it did not sufficiently deal with the bullying of Mark and this led him to shoot their child.
If you been following Peaceful Rampage for some time, you will know that my book is drawn from actual experiences. I was bullied as bad as Mark was and the school did do its best in trying to stop it. Also like in the story, the school dealing with things only made matters worse for me on most occasions. So, I can’t blame the school either although some teachers did play a role in exacerbating the bullying. It is also why whenever I read about a school shooting, my first thought is always: “This could have been me.”
To buy He Was Weird go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517430554&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird