Captain’s Column: Bullying needs to be put to a stop

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LAST week’s page one story saddened me.

On more than one occasion as a child I remember taking the long route home to avoid the gang of boys in the year above me.

In one particular scrap I returned home with blood on my jumper after being punched in the nose by the school bully.

Of course my mother was more concerned with getting the stain out, and my old dad just wanted to know if I’d landed a good punch on the other lad.

Thankfully now the attitudes of educators and parents have changed.

It is now widely recognised that bullying can have psychological effects on children that can do real damage.

Teachers have a responsibility to stamp out bullying by educating children about the issue, but parents also have to ensure that these morals are backed up at home - and they should be leading by example.

But in my experience it is the parents of the children who are doing the bullying who should be the most worried.

It is these children that will grow up to do nothing with their lives.

Doomed to work in low paid jobs, if at all.

While the studious children who work hard and get good grades will one day be running the country.

You’ll also find it’s the children who were bullied who grow up into nicer people, with more friends and a better sense of humour.

You’d be hard pushed to find a celebrity comic who doesn’t have a horrific tale of being bullied as a child to tell.

My advice to parents who’s children currently come home in tears is to tell them that school is just a short phase.

And to the teachers, good luck. Children can be so cruel to each other.

When I was a youngster we were pretty mean, but bullies now have tools like social networking websites at their disposal too.

Why can’t we all just get along, eh?