Hitting A 6-Year-Old Child Is Not Going To Fix Bullying

Aiden Neely bullyingBullying has become a national issue in recent years. Anti-bullying programs have been championed by popular pop icons like Lady Gaga. Tragic stories of teen suicide have gained more press attention than ever. Parents everywhere are concerned with bullying and how to protect their kids.

Now I may not be an expert on the issue, but I’m positive that one Texas teacher is on the wrong track. This teacher, who hasn’t been identified by her employers, instructed her kindergartners to each slap a little boy who had been accused of bullying twice. This six-year-old child, named Aiden Neely, was smacked on the head, face, and back, apparently to teach him a lesson for bullying his classmates.

I’m sorry, but reprimanding a bully by bullying him back seems pretty counter-productive to me. Using physical violence to teach a class of young people that bullying is wrong doesn’t seem like it benefits anyone at all. Whatever the lesson needed to be for this little boy, I guarantee he didn’t get it. This teacher didn’t help her students understand why bullying is wrong, she just made one little boy the new victim.

Almost more disturbing than this woman’s teaching tactics have been the response to this story. On Good Morning America’s Yahoo-based blog, the comments are almost unbelievable and filled with a level of vitriol that seems completely inappropriate when leveled at a six-year-old boy. Here’s just a few choice examples:

“The rotten little kid probably deserved being hit 24 times. I’m not saying it’s right that the teacher initiated it, but he probably deserved it.” – M

“This teacher did the right thing, times have changed since I was in school in the 1960s There was kid Wally that was a bully until my friend Doug and I jumped him and broke his arm and his nose, maybe more kids should be willing to take vigilante action against these bully type kids leave the adults out of it.” – Im Comin Lizbeth

“Not sure what the problem is here. If indeed this brat had been bullying other students, then I think the punishment fits the crime.” – Tw

“im glad he got hit! he got what he deserved and will never do it again” – Rob

“the kid was lucky another kindergartner didn’t take a ball bat to the bullies head, would have taught him a good lesson on who to and not to pick on!” – ABCDE…

I’m sorry but did everyone miss the part where we were talking about a kindergartner. A little boy who is six-years-old. Yes, I agree that we need to address bullying at a young age. I think the mom in question should’ve been contacted and should be involved in teaching her son proper behavior. (Instead of being the latest victim of mommy-shaming.) If continued to bully his peers, than he should be punished. But that punishment should not be in the form of physical violence. How does that teach anyone the proper way to deal with negative emotions or bullies? What was accomplished here for any of those children?

This is a child. We teach children by modeling correct behavior, not by stooping to the most basic level of vengeance. And the idea that people who have never met this little boy, have never seen him personally, would cheer for him being beaten by his classmates is appalling.

(Photo: Gawker)

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