Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bully Bashing

My teenage son is in grade 8 and he wears a belt to school. It's not out of a concern for fashion. The belt is a bully prevention device.

For all that schools have improved in taking action against bullying, they can't possibly keep a strict eye on 1000 hormone-fuelled teenagers at once. Bullies know this, and so bullying is rife.

Now, amongst any experienced Bully's arsenal of weapons is a little manouevre known as 'dacking'.
In Australia, 'dacks' is slang for pants.
'Dacking' is where a boy yanks down another boy's pants.
If he manages to also yank down the guy's underwear, it's called 'double dacking'.

If you are the dacker in the situation, it's hilarious. If you are the dackee, you are humiliated. I think it's pathetic. But then, I'm weird like that. I don't enjoy watching people hurt themselves on funniest home videos. I just feel sorry for them.

Now, back to the story involving my son: you've heard about Harry before. Likeable, hard-working, sociable, and easy-going. Some kids in grade 8 are practically full-grown men, with carpet legs and megaphone voices. On the other hand, the late-starters in the puberty stakes can be very tiny. Harry doesn't have any muscles or body hair, and his voice sounds like Tweety Pie.

For that reason, he is sometimes fodder for bullies.

Enter into the picture a kid called Nick Davis. He's as big as a small gorilla. He spends his school days boasting about how great he is. For entertainment, he belittles and humiliates other kids. Oh, how charming.

Yesterday was the school athletics carnival. Nick Davis, as usual, had nothing better to do than sit around in the stadium picking on people.

Finally, the inevitable happened. Harry walked past wearing his elastic-waisted shorts with no belt. Nick Davis took the opportunity to dack him. Actually, he double-dacked him.

In front of the whole stadium.

But Harry is very street-smart. First, he pretended to be embarrassed. Then he pretended to laugh it off. He waited until Nick Davis stopped crowing and carrying on, and dropped his hands away from his face. Then he punched him in the head.

"Go, Harry!" the cheer went up. Friends crowded around to give Harry a hi-five.

Nick Davis shed a few tears. It was a sight nobody remembered ever seeing before.

Job done, Harry calmly walked away.

Unfortunately, his hand was not the same any more:

Exhibit A. Boxer's Fracture

I spent last night at the hospital with Harry, who had emergency surgery on his broken hand. He has what's known as a Boxer's Fracture, where a bone in your hand breaks off at the knuckle. His hand is in a cast. They stabilized his knuckles with wires.

He can't use his hand. He won't be able to write his exams. There's a lot of stuff he's going to miss out on.

But I said,
"Next time, son, just aim for soft tissue!"


  1. yay for harry! tell him to wear that cast like a trophy and high five with it! what a guy! you are a lucky mom honey. he will go far in this world!!!

    smiles, bee

  2. Ouch, on all accounts. People like Nick make me sick to my stomach. With luck, there will be no next time for anyone.

  3. Good for him! I'd love to hear how his next day at school went, he must be a hero!
    It's funny how kids are, they might even become friends now that he stood up to him :)

  4. Although I shouldn't think that hitting someone is an okay retaliation I wish I could YELL THIS so your son could hear me from VA - GREAT JOB! NICELY DONE!

    Beautiful! Nick deserved every bit of it - and I hope he never picks on anyone again - sorry Harry's hand was broken but here it would be a badge of honor that he actually hit Nick hard enough to break his hand. :D [weird logic I know, but it is middle school lol]

    Hope he isn't in too much pain and I am so, so, so very happy he stuck up for himself. Way to go!

  5. What a day. Glad he got the upper, albiet broken, hand.

    Hang in there, this too will pass. Not soon enough, but it will.

  6. I'm sorry he broke his hand, but man, I am so glad he stood up for himself. Bullies get away with their crap because nobody will fight back. Nick will think twice before messing with anyone else.

    My dad taught me to make a fist and always told me to fight back. I only had to do it twice, but it felt good, even though I got a black eye from one time.

  7. Greetings from Missouri, USA. Popped over from your comment at Sage's place.

    How interesting you have an 8th grade son, as do I. (I've also a daughter graduating from high school plus a younger one.)

    My eighth grader had a problem with a bully at our little Lutheran school and tried to do the Christian thing. Eventually, I told him that if one's enemy absolutely refuses to see the error of his ways, that it is time to deploy more, shall we say, judgmental methods of correction. The good news is that he hit the "softies," and that was the end of the problem.

    Congrats to your son. I'm sure the injury the bully suffered to his pride was worse than your son's broken hand. Plus your son will now have oodles of teen-aged girls calling him, so bonus!


  8. Maybe Nick will try it again and Harry can hit the little f*cker with his cast!!!!!


  9. Came here via reference from Miss Bee's...

    Wow, too bad about the hand, but THAT is exactly how you stand up to a bully. Well done, Harry (and Mom, too!).

  10. Lol Skippy, you know, the same thought occurred to me! A cast does make quite a good battering ram, as my other son knows very well (he's broken his arms once each). Thanks all for your funny and supportive comments. Harry read them too! Welcome to Jim and R Sherman as well, its nice to meet you! xxx