THIS week an email I sent made someone feel so badly they wanted to quit their job. The words I typed before I hit ‘send’ made them feel so badly about themselves, about their work that they wanted to stop doing it. When I think about that, even as I write this, the idea of it is so upsetting, so deeply saddening… well, it makes me cry.
THERE have been all kinds of reactions to the photos of Nigella Lawson with her husband allegedly squeezing her throat and choking her in a restaurant in London last week. A Twitter furor erupted that nobody at the restaurant intervened. Would you? Honestly? A campaign is now urging bystanders to get involved when you see a wrong being perpetrated. Continue reading
Charlotte Dawson has battled depression for years, according to last night’s 60 Minutes. And so when a vile Twitter campaign, hashtagged #dieCharlotte, launched she was ill equipped to deal with it. There have been two main reactions online to what has been reported as a suicide attempt resulting from online attacks. The first one points to a causal relationship between Dawson’s comments and the reaction she drew from trolls. The second is for everyone to quietly batten down the hatches and take a harder line on bad behaviour.
On Saturday I jumped into my time machine and zipped 20 years into the past, to 1990, the year of big hair; the year McDonald’s brought their fatty, salty goodness to the Russians, erecting the first golden arches in Moscow;
Last Friday we had our first school friend over (complete with Mum and sibling) for a playdate. I invited them over because for the first few weeks of Fin’s Prep experience we only ever heard about Billy (not his real name) this and Billy that. Most lunchtimes were spent sitting next to Billy and I was even pestered to buy the same things for the lunchbox that Billy was bringing to school (namely, those squirty yoghurts, which I bought once and never again).
The idea that teachers can put a stop to bullying of students is predicated on the notion that teachers aren’t themselves bullies or the victims of bullies. When that basic notion is found to be false we’re left to wonder how our children will learn to stand up to bullies or how the culture of bullying can ever be stamped out.
A very old school friend rang the other day for a catch-up and a bit of advice. We both have kids the same age and the eldest have commenced Prep this year, but in different schools, although both state schools. “There’s a bit of an issue that’s sprung up in Billy’s (not his real name) class and I don’t know what to do,” she said.
Cyberbullying is on the rise. It’s staggering to me that with our increased awareness of bullying and specifically what constitutes bullying behaviour, how this sort of statement can be made with any basis in fact. But it is.