Casey has become an overnight hero with a Facebook page dedicated to him with over 170,000 fans. Why all of this attention?
Firstly I believe it’s because most of us have a sense of fairness and justice for those who have suffered from bullying – me included. Casey was taunted for being overweight. I suffered the same taunts at school for being skinny. The old saying:"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is so untrue. Young people are affected by unkind words that are spoken over them and this – in extreme cases – can lead to depression and even suicide. Casey Heynes said in an interview that he had contemplated suicide on several occasions.
Secondly, this event has received a lot of attention because it highlights a major problem. Bullying most often occurs in our schools between children, but it also happens between adults in workplaces and at home. Cyber bullying is also on the increase with children and adults being bullied via SMS, Facebook and email.
If you – or someone you know – are being bullied, the Internet has some very useful resources that can help you. Try these three principles:
Ignore and avoid: Bullies usually harass their victims in order to get a reaction. If a bully is making fun of you, simply walk right by without responding to let him or her know that you don't care what they say about you. Try and avoid them by engaging in an after-school activity, by using an alternative route home or by walking with friends. If you’re the victim of cyber bullying change your email address or mobile number or block the person from Facebook.
Be confident: Bullies usually pick on people who they perceive to be weaker than them. Therefore, if you can demonstrate to the bully that you are strong and confident, they may stop picking on you.
Ask for help: Tell a teacher, your parents, or another trusted adult that you are being bullied.
Bullying is abuse. No one deserves to be bullied and the problem usually won't go away without direct action. Although I don’t agree with the action Casey Heynes took in slamming Ritchard Gale into a concrete path, I can understand it. This young man had had enough. If you’ve had enough of being bullied take action today!