Letter: Parents of bullies must be held responsible

By Lynn

Everyone was horrified and shocked at the bullying incident that was posted on facebook.  Any sane parent would immediately put themselves in the shoes of the victim’s parents and then shudder to think that this could, in fact, also happen to their child.  Perhaps most parents would immediately have that conversation with their child about bullying and that she/he should report such incidents, if it does happen, to the parent immediately.  I know I had that conversation with my child.  In fact, I imagined that I wouldn’t be as magnanimous as the parent of the victim but would instead bring the full extent of the law on the perpetrators, but that’s just me.

It’s easy to be sympathetic towards the victim but I think we must also consider the bullies themselves.  How they behaved is really a reflection of their upbringing to some extent, and therefore their parents should also be made responsible for their children’s actions.  While it would break my heart if my child was bullied, it would be 10 times worse if my child was the bully!   I would have considered myself a failure, because if my child doesn’t understand basic human decency and core moral values at the age of 13, then he or she probably never will.  In fact in several blog postings on the bully’s blog, it would appear that the bullies are completely unrepentant.  As such, it is important for the parents of the bullies to also take some responsibility for their actions.  I think a public apology would be a bare minimum.  For the perpetrators themselves, surely causing grievous harm is some form of criminal offense, and if it isn’t, it should be.  While they are too young to be jailed they must be punished, for their own good and as an example to other bullies out there.  At the minimum, they should be made to do 100 hours of community service, for example.

And who is the person who videotaped the whole incident?  Is she part of the group of bullies and is therefore posting the video as a prize because they are proud of what they have done or is she just someone who was sympathetic towards the victim and posted it as a cry for help?  It would be interesting to find out.

It’s a sad part of our reality in this modern world where violence is so easily accessible and seen as something normal.   Asian moral values espouses kindness, gentleness and consideration towards others.  What happened to us?  People always say that computer games and violent movies are easy scapegoats but there is definitely some truth to it.  For some children, they are unable to differentiate between what’s real and what’s make believe and when they immerse themselves in these computer games or violent movies, their senses are completely dulled and they then lose that natural instinct to behave human.  Killing and hurting just becomes an activity like what they do in their online games.  The bullies actually operate a blog and presumably do play a lot of online games. Coincidence?