Sunday, March 20, 2011

Casey Heynes Response to Bullies A Rally Cry or a Warning?

I am sure all of you have seen the viral video of Casey Heynes fending off school bullies and then taking matters into his own hands. Compared to some of the violent stuff we see, it is not that bad, but that doesn't mean that it's easy to watch.

I was watching the Today show this morning and the caption, "Viral Video a Rallying Cry for Bully Victims"(or something similar) feels all wrong to me. Honestly, there are very few people that can watch the video and say they did not feel a slight tinge of satisfactionAt the same time, we all know that responding to violence with violence is not the answer either. 

I don't think naming the young boy, Casey Heynes, a hero is right and even though I am sure he was momentarily grateful that he got away from his bullies, I doubt he felt like a hero then or now.  Hearing that he was contemplating suicide in the past because he was tired of being bullied is hard, but it is also clear that he needs to learn some tools to help him deal with conflict and bullying. 

I would hate to see more children and teens inspired to fight back because they see and hear adults naming and applauding Casey Heynes as a hero.  Fighting back only leads to an escalation in violence, the kids getting into trouble and somebody (bully or their victim) getting hurt-- all of which we saw happen in the video. 

In my opinion, this should not be viewed as a rallying cry, but a warning. What does everyone else think? Is Casey Heynes a hero to bullied children everywhere? And before anyone tries to rationalize that I must feel this way because I don't understand what it must be like to be bullied everyday, well that's not true.