Wednesday, May 30, 2012

In praise of Stormy Rich

I don't often pay attention to, let alone blog about, things going on in the popular media, but this story grabbed me on an emotional level and refused to let go.

A teenage, straight-As student, is branded a bully and barred from the school bus for daring to stand up for a special needs child who was being bullied.

Note, this was not a thoughtless, impulsive reaction, but someone who acted after months of watching a helpless student get bullied, and after repeated calls to the bus driver and the school authorities to do something.

The story can be found here, and on many other news outlets.

Now, I've seen some of the official responses, and claims that we can't judge because we are only hearing one side of the story.

What I have seen is a brave teenager clearly distraught at what she has seen, who went well out of her way to alert the proper authorities before resorting to talking to the bullies herself.

What I have seen are pretty lame excuses by the school authorities. So, they didn't receive a complaint in person from a special needs child who was incapable of being aware that she was being bullied. Does that make it OK?

What I notably haven't seen, amidst all the limp-wristed official bluster, is:
(a) Any rebuttal of the claims that Stormy made repeated complaints on behalf of the bullied child. So, presumably they did indeed receive the complaints.
(b) Any explanation of why they refused to take action on any of those complaints.

...Especially when they were so darned quick to act on the complaints leveled by the cowardly bullies themselves.

It steams me up when those in authority pay more attention to the "rights" of wrongdoers than to those of victims or people doing the right thing.

I may never have all the facts, but I can see well enough which side is the more credible.

Well done, Stormy.

13 comments:

  1. Children can be so cruel sometimes and yes I agree the brave boy who faced the bullies is most unjustly punished....It is actually a matter of honor and dignity..

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  2. We hear so much of bullying these days. I can only remember one bully in grade school and he was soon put right. Really though, what kind of person (adult or child) harrasses a disabled/challenged/special needs person? Makes you wonder what goes on in their homes.

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  3. Working with kids- and the majority of those would qualify as special needs in one or the other- as I do. I see it happen all the time. Its the kid that responds to the perpetrator that gets the flak.. Not the perp. I hate it, and no amount of emailsending and whatnot will make any difference.

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  4. Schools, like the courts, don't seem to have the guts to deal with things with any integrity. I'm not sure what we or anyone can do about it, which is what makes these stories all the more frustrating. Blogging about it won't make a difference either, I know, but I let off some steam at least.

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  5. It's hard to imagine what "side of the story" you haven't seen that would make you side with the bullies isn't it? what can they say? The disabled student liked it? Asked for it? It was acceptable because all the culture of the students (whatever it is) made such bullying a form of love? Excuses...ugh. That's the danger of political correctness-- it makes bullying, oppression, and even torture okay because it's "part of the culture" that we don't understand. B.S.

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  6. Danette, I guess there could be all sorts of legitimate "other sides" to a story like this, but all of them would involve the side we've heard being factually inaccurate in some substantial way. Seeing as nobody has suggested that Stormy was lying at any point, this leaves us in the territory you describe. Pretty darned unacceptable.

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  7. Hi Botanist. This is not such an unusual happening. The more leniency is shown towards bullies, the bolder they become. And punishing the whistleblower must really make the bullies feel empowered. Sad old world when this happens.

    Denise

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  8. Hi Ian,
    I am going to keep this a rather short response. And based on what you've written so thoughtfully and the link, I totally concur with you and indeed, well done to Stormy for having integrity and morals.
    I could go into my thoughts on the mentality of those who would bully, but not now.
    Take good care, my friend.

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  9. Denise, right now, the world has got its priorities seriously screwed up for sure.

    Gary, I know you have strong feelings about bullying, as do I.

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  10. Hi Ian .. that is just terrible - we do seem to spend our lives protecting the thugs, while not seeming to care about the vulnerable - of all sorts - so I totally agree with you .. and as you say to Denise - the world sure is upside down in so many ways. Life is cruel for many who cannot help themselves ... with agreement - Hilary

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  11. So true, Hilary, yet we mustn't let that overshadow the fact that there are also lots of people doing good in the world.

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  12. I miss your posts Ian, are you still celebrating your citizenship? There are people counting on your words, you know? Kisses.

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  13. Awww, thanks unikorna. I'm slowing down on the blogging right now, but I guess I can post about why. Just for you :)

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