Staff Editorial

Boy who stood up for himself not at fault

Bullying is once again the topic of discussion, thanks to a viral video that shows an Australian student standing up for himself.

In a Youtube video, 15-year-old Casey Heynes is punched in the face and body several times before finally picking up his attacker, Ritchard Gale, and slamming him to the ground. The video went viral quickly, spawning news stories and blog posts around the world within a few hours.

Through a few short moments of standing up for himself, Heynes started a discussion on Fox News, The View, TMZ and dozens of other mainstream media outlets.

What started as a schoolyard scuffle has escalated into a full-blown phenomenon. People from around the world have posted Youtube videos and comments congratulating Heynes for his acts.

As of Monday night, the Casey Heynes page on Facebook has almost 165,000 likes. Penny Arcade, one of the most popular webcomics of all time, wrote a strip dedicated to Heynes on Monday.

The Internet group known as Anonymous hacked Heynes’ school webpage because of the suspension he received for refusing to take any more abuse.

“We have had enough of this bigotry. They failed at providing a violence-free environment for their students,” Anonymous’ attack letter said. “When Zangief Kid (Casey) took things in his own hands they (the school) b****slapped him for defending himself.”

The media has a somewhat different opinion, though. Some news outlets — CBS among them — reported that the retaliation was unnecessary, and that the right thing to do would be to get an adult involved. The video tells a different story.

It’s clear in the video that Heynes was simply defending himself; after being punched repeatedly, self-defense becomes one of very few options.

As for telling an adult, well, where were the adults when the incident first took place?

The outpouring of support seems to echo that same sentiment. Maybe if people knew they would be held responsible for their actions, bullying wouldn’t be a problem in the first place.


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