Aug 11, 2022

Often when I have had discussion groups about bullying prevention I encounter a few people who believe that the only way to prevent bullying (whether in schools or in the workplace) is to become physically aggressive. I don’t advocate that line of thinking. I don’t like the idea of a child growing up thinking bullying must be confronted with physical violence, and can then get into legal trouble as an adult for committing physical assault. That is why we need to continue to work on finding legally appropriate ways of fighting back and preventing all kinds of bullying.

I had a very interesting encounter with an ex-professional football player. This gentleman is now retired and works with school children promoting bullying prevention. He told me that even though he was always big and strong, he was bullied a lot during his school years and did not like it at all, and that is why he now works with children to prevent bullying. When I asked him if he ever fought back physically, he told me that he never did, because he grew up believing that one does not hurt another individual physically. Yes, you should be tough when you are playing the game of football – because the sport is all about blocking and tackling – but it’s not about hurting someone.

I totally understood his viewpoint because I absolutely believe in that approach. I am sure that when he was young he could have easily handled a couple of bullies physically, but he did not believe in doing that. It was good to see that a person who played a very physical sport as a profession, believes in non-violence and works with children to promote that approach.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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