School Bully Revenge Video Goes Viral
You can practically pinpoint the Spinach Moment.
That's the pint in every "Popeye" cartoon when our favorite sailor has finally had enough of being beaten and abused by Bluto. "If there's one thing I can't stands," he says, "I can't stands no more!"
Popeye snarfs some spinach and explodes in retaliatory violence, dishing out better than he ever received.
If you want to see that scene played out in real life -- minus the leafy green stuff -- check out this video from an Australian high school that's gone viral.
The video shows a larger kid (identified by the Sydney Daily Telegraph as Casey Heynes) being sucker punched by a scrawny bully. He tells his assailant to stop. Other kids at Chifley College in Sydney stand by and watch, some of them egging on the puncher.
Finally, Heynes can't stands no more. He flips his assailant and body slams him. Victims of bullies across the world -- literally -- cheer.
For Heynes, the hero worship is a bit of a consolation prize as he and his alleged assailant spend four days on suspension for fighting.
All sorts of anonymous commentators on the Web have something to say about that.
"The school should immediately reverse his suspension and apologize for such actions. The kid was being hurt, and he protected himself. The suspension tells students that they should not protect themselves. A terrible and dangerous message. That school should be ashamed of itself," one person writes.
Susan Stiffelman, a family therapist in Southern California who writes the "Ask Advice Mama" column for ParentDish, understands the hero worship.
"No doubt it felt great not only to the bullied child, but to all kids identifying with him in that victim role," she tells ParentDish.
However, she adds, kids and parents should not look to a single body slam as a remedy for bullying.
"The best way to avoid being bullied is to not give the bully the payoff he or she is looking for," Stiffelman says. "As soon as a child shows that the bully has 'gotten to him' -- either by engaging verbally, crying, running away or showing aggression -- the bully has achieved his goal.
"As immensely hard as it is to withhold the reaction a bully wants, in the end, using aggression to counteract bullying generally does not pay off. In this situation."
Heynes' father tells the Daily Telegraph his son's retaliation is not as cool as it seems to international lookie-loos.
"There'll be reprisals from other kids in the school, and he still has to go to school somewhere," he tells the newspaper.
Not that he criticizes his son.
"He's not a violent kid," he says. "It's the first time he's lashed out, and I don't want him to be victimized over that. He's always been taught never to hit. Apparently other people's parents don't teach their kids that."
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.