Did I do the right thing, or have I fucked up?

At my tram stop on the way to work each morning, there’s a bunch of fat-arsed, slack-jawed, moronic kids who also board to get to school about four stops away. In that short time period (max 4 minutes) they generally cause much disruption and set about offending as many people as they can with their vile language, their loud music and their stupendously pathetic imitations of gangstas. The school they go to is classified as a ‘Special School’ for behavioural problems I believe, and they go about living up to its credo with especial vigour. :rolleyes: They epitomise the definition of socially retarded…even though they’d probably test normal on an IQ test. I mean, really…wearing your cap backwards and donning WuTang shit went out last century didn’t it?? :smiley:

But I digress: On the same tram there’s a couple of littler kids who go to the local primary school…another four stops past the fuckheads’ school. One of them, a young fella probably aged about 10 and quiet as a mouse was there this morning sitting opposite me. As the ‘gang’ were about to get off at their stop, they started heckling and flicking the little guy around the head, generally being fuckwits and giving him a hard time. I noticed this as I peered above the top of my newspaper (I don’t have an IPod so I hide behind me’ news every morning!!), and when they did it again, I said, “OI”.

Apparently they didn’t hear me, so I said it again, with gusto, "OI, YOU LOT, LEAVE HIM ALONE, RIGHT NOW YA HEAR???"

They heard me then all right, so did the rest of the tram it seems, because I saw people smiling and nodding at my action.

The bunch of them (about 7 in total) got off the tram quietly and meekly, but when they got to the roadside they became all brave and smartarsed again and stuck their fists up, banged on the windows and tried to look threatening. Funny stuff really.

Now yeah, I sorta feel I did the right thing at the time, but I’m more worried now that the kid will be MORE vulnerable in the future because of my actions. When they were harrassing him, he just sat there saying nothing and not giving them any reason to ark up. And maybe they’ve been doing this to him for a while with no further escalation, so he’s learned to ‘live’ with the bullying knowing that the freaks get off the tram before him and there’s enough people around to prevent it going further. I didn’t want to embarrass him by asking questions, I just asked, “Hey, you ok?”. He said, “Yeah”. And that was that.

But while I’m on that tram most mornings and will CERTAINLY be keeping an eye out for future fuckups (even though I suspect the cretinous crew will behave when they see me get aboard now knowing what a fishwife I am :smiley: ), what happens to this kid if he encounters the gang on his way HOME from school? Have I made his life more difficult and more likely to be seriously bullied by speaking out?

Advice please.

I can understand your worries about escalating the bullying, but I still think you did the right thing.

Could you ring the special school they go to and advise them of the situation? I’m sure they’d be able to work out which bunch of boys it was based on their clothing and bus route.

You done good, and kudos to you for sticking up for the kid. Sometimes you can’t overthink the “what ifs” or you’d never do anything, let alone anything good.

I thought of that, but my hunch is that, given the nature of this school and the types of kids that are enrolled…I think the teachers and admins are just happy that the kids even turn UP for classes, and know full well that the students are deviations from the Darwinian principle so any improvement in their literacy and academic skills is an improvement on what would have been otherwise. A bit of bullying on the tram is not going to get their dander up much I reckon.

Me? I think they all should have been aborted…even retroactively if necessary. While they’re only young now (aged between 13 and 16 perhaps), I have this amazing psychic power to predict their futures…and they ain’t good. The swaggers and the attitude of these kids scares the shit out of me. When they get bigger and even MORE streetwise and tough, they are going to wreak havoc on the streets of Melbourne or wherever else they end up. At the moment they’re just bullying little boys in primary school…in the future, who knows?

Friggin’ little shits.

It’s your choice, but I think you do a disservice to the teachers and administrative staff of the school by assuming they won’t be interested/take action.

I’m not trying to diss the staff at the school: I think they have taken on a Herculean task by trying to ‘educate’ these kids who have been rejected by all the other schools they have enrolled at.

As I mentioned in my previous post…just getting these kids to turn up at school regularly is a really BIG THING, both for the school and the kids themselves. Their focus is on the kids and keeping them interested and committed…giving them grief over being fuckheads (which is unfortunately their natural state) is only going to make the teachers job harder.

I’d rather ring the wallopers to deal with them, actually. :smiley:

Kambuckta, I was a kid who got constantly picked on, bullied, etc. and here’s my response:
Good on you!
You’ve taught the 10 year old boy a couple of important lessons: 1) what those kids were doing to him was wrong; 2) that people will speak up when they see something like that; and 3) there is an alternative to putting up with it until it goes away. You’ve also demonstrated to the louts that someone will call them on their behaviour and that it is socially unacceptable. If enough people do it, they may have to find a new way to amuse themselves. After all, the other passengers on the bus saw what happened, too, and we’ve no way of knowing how many others have thought about speaking up. You said people were smiling and nodding. Maybe next time it will be one of them who says something. Up unti now, a social climate (ok microclimate) has existed in which these kids could do pretty much anything they wanted and get away with it. If enough people decide they’ve had enough and start speaking up when they get out of line, that climate might change. Who knows? Maybe even these kids will learn that loutish behaviour isn’t nearly as cool or fun or socially acceptable as they think it is. After all, where’s the fun in acting intimidating if no one’s actually intimidated?

You did the right thing and I’m glad you did it.

Siege, thanks for that. It reassures me that my ‘spur of the moment’ diatribe towards the freaks might not have been in vain.

I’ll reinforce it tomorrow of course…when they get on the tram, I’ll remind them that they’re being WATCHED…ahaahahahaha

*Edited because I can’t friggen-well spell Siege apparently!! *

Yeah, you did the right thing, kam.

Knowing bullies, I’d say they WON’T give him a hard time now, whether you’re there or not. If you’re worried, you can ask a friend to catch that tram on a day when you don’t, and do the same thing. Anyway, you’ve also probably given the other regular adult commuters the nod that it’s OK to stand up to these little shits.

You did really great, kambuckta! And you’re now my favorite fishwife. :slight_smile:

I regret that so many more of us don’t–for a multiplicity of reasons (some good, but mostly not so good)–display such courage (against the assholes) and compassion (towards the aggrieved) when similar situations arise; when it comes to both the little shits, and the big.

And I’d bet that li’l one is immensely grateful to you, even if he doesn’t know how to show it.

“I never worry about action, but only INACTION.”

  • Winston Churchill

You definitely did the right thing. Way to go.

You are spot on.

The other shits in the car that smiled and nodded but didn’t do a damn thing to stop it can well, kiss my grits.

How screwed up are things when you are wondering if you have done the right thing when you stood up for a little kid being tormented by a gang of older/larger kids?

Hi, I may live in my own little world, but you can come live in it any time.
p.s. we have lots of cake here.
p.p.s. I love you writing and that you kept all the regional differences in.

I’ve nothing much more to say other than you did the right thing. If more people spoke up in situations like that, there’d be fewer situations like that.

Yeah you done the right thing.
But I wouldn’t put it past them to try harass you indirectly on the tram on another day. But I’m sure you cna handle that.

BTW where is this school/ what school is it?

Maybe tomarrow, you should watch to see if they get dropped off by a parent.
If I were you, I would tell the parents what’s been going on every morning and let them know that if it doesn’t stop NOW, you’ll let the people that run the tram know about it* and make sure they arn’t allowed on it anymore. From what you’re saying they sound like wiggers (or chavs**), which IMHO is something that can be turned on and off at a whim. Just let the parents know that it needs to be turned off when they get on and you don’t care what they do when they get off.

If you really want to make it look like your serious, get a bunch of other people from the train to come and do it with you. You probably won’t have a hard time getting some help with this.
*If it’s REALLY bad, substitute “police” for “people that run the tram”

**I just learned that word here a few days ago!

I agree. Perhaps now that you’ve taken the first step, the others will stick up for him when you’re not around.

Two things:

  1. Kam, having met you several times, I think any young dickhead would be shitting himself if you peered over the top of yer paper in scary mode (and I mean this as a compliment, natch), and…

  2. You MUST adopt this as a sig:

You did the right thing.

Right now, your fellow adult passengers are wishing they were you. If you aren’t on the tram next time, maybe they’ll fill in for you. Like Hillary Clinton says, It takes a Village to raise a child.
Isn’t there some sort of tram operator who should be beating this kids with a crowbar?

Good for you! Where’s the driver while all this hooliganism goes on? The transit company has the responsibility for keeping it’s passengers safe.


As a teacher, I assure you that you did the right thing.
Bullying is destructive and addictive and we all need to help challenge it.

I would certainly inform the School. They should do something about it.