Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bullying Cannot Be Prioritised

Dizzy has a fantastic post here, where he draws attention to government plans to force schools to keep a record of bullying incidents. He quotes Alan Campbell in Hansard saying:

"The Government intend to introduce a new statutory duty on schools to record all incidents of bullying between pupils. We are planning to launch a full public consultation in May on draft regulations, and will be consulting on making it compulsory for incidents of bullying to be recorded by type, as related to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality etc."

Dizzy has correctly noted the controlling/surveillance aspect of this story. However, I take another issue with it as well. Without wanting to sound like an episode of Trisha; I was bullied at school. And I wasn't bullied because of my race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or anything like that; it was because I was a quiet kid and the dick in my school liked to pick on me. No provocation; it was simply because he was a dick. Now, what sort of 'type' is this? It doesn't fit into any of Campbell's categories, and I'd be amazed if 'bully is a dick' is what he meant by 'etc'. I'm no fan of this initiative at all. I think it's nannying, bureaucratic, and pointless. However, if you're going to keep tabs on bulling, at least have the fucking sense to realise that the majority of it is caused by bullies being unpleasant individuals, and not because of some neat little categories you can apply to the victim. All this does is give the impression - like hate crime laws - that bullying based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender and sexuality is somehow 'worse' than bullying that isn't based on those things.


DC said...

As related to race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality -

Whilst I don't think the statistics matter at all for the reasons you've posted I doubt very much whether they'll record the 'type' of bully - only the type of victim.

The presupposition is that bullies are larger than physically average males from Christian working class backgrounds. My wife and I would both disagree with that from personal experience.

The Raven said...

I agree; I don't think it will be the type of bully they record - but rather the type of bullying. That way they will label it as 'racist bullying', and therefore consider it worse than normal 'pick on the weak kid' bullying.