Stories about bullying

‘Whiplash’ takes you into the mind of your scariest teacher

Think of the most terrifying teacher you have faced, the thought of whom still makes you jittery years after graduation. If you dare, he may appear on your screen in the shape of the tyrannical Terrance Fletcher in the latest cinematic masterpiece, Whiplash. JK Simmons, best known as the meme-worthy boss of Peter Parker in the earlier Spiderman movies, finally lands himself a role where his naturally fiery eyes and hardened countenance are put to good use. In Whiplash, Simmons plays a dreaded conductor at a cut-throat conservatory for gifted musicians. The Shaffer Conservatory, being no place for passionate amateurs with newly purchased instruments, has a dire reputation ...

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Ragging someone at university is not funny

“Congratulations! Not only on starting your life at one of the best universities in the world, but on proving that you are the cream of the crop.” After a brief standing ovation, the opening ceremony ended. We came walking out of the auditorium as if we didn’t need to wait for the future; we had already become the leaders we came here to be. The opening ceremony was followed by a hi-tea session with snacks where the students discussed how they were going to “utilise” their time now that they had acquired admission into such a prestigious university. The bittersweet day ended ...

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The culture of fat-shaming: A conversation with Ali Moeen Nawazish

I’ve written extensively about the society’s attitude towards overweight people. Seemingly harmless jokes and unsolicited weight-loss advice often has serious, negative impact on the lives of people struggling with weight problem. I sat down with academic prodigy Ali Moeen Nawazish, to discuss the issue of fat-shaming and body image. Do you consider shaming people for their weight as something perverse? Definitely. Just judging anyone by not their actions, but the way they look, they sound, they speak; the whole concept of judging people based on these arbitrary things is perverse. Have you personally been a victim of fat-shaming, or suffered from poor self-image? Ever ...

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Do impaired individuals deserve to be made fun of?

He has had speech impairment for as long as I can remember. Each word uttered has to be a deliberate effort for him. His sentences spoken are often unclear and difficult to comprehend. Perhaps, he also faced bullying whilst growing up but that never shattered his confidence, for his career demands him to interact with large crowds and be a public speaker. Despite the lisped sentences, his statements hold clout and his opinions are always sought. People make fun of him and glances are exchanged around him, yet he only fumbles, never stumbles. He is the 14th prime minister of Pakistan, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. ...

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A note to the school back-bencher

Dear Back-bencher, How are you? I hope you are doing well. I really wish this from the bottom of my heart. Let me start by saying how sorry I am to judge you. I remember that time in school, when I was a snob and you were the guy who teased everyone, including myself. I was wrong to react the way I did towards your attitude towards life. I would secretly smirk when teachers would scold you. And I know I didn’t even talk to you, but I tried my best to be nice to you, simple because I felt sorry for you. You ...

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6-year-old child beaten to death in school: Are we teaching our kids to be bullies?

As a parent of a fairly young school-going child, you get a lot of feedback from friends, family, teachers, peers, experts, columnists, TV show ‘analysts’, blogs, books ad infinitum. You get to see a lot of competitive parenting and then you hear of how you need to teach your child how to tie shoelaces, how they need to learn to be independent, how important it is for them to know their ABCs, have the right pencil holding position, etcetera. Lots of parents even brag about how creative a child gets when he or she has to fight another child for their favourite ...

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Named and shamed in Utah: How can you deny food to elementary school students?

Imagine this scenario. You are in high school, perhaps 11-years-old and you walk in to the cafeteria with a group of friends. You line up at the food counter, wait your turn anxiously because you have been working hard during lessons and are absolutely famished. Your turn is next. “Do I get the pizza or the burger?” You can’t decide because they both look so good and you are truly very hungry. You flip a coin mentally and decide to go with the pizza. As you proceed down the line with your tray and pizza, you see something rather odd happening in front ...

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Terror on Facebook ‘Confession’ pages, from KGS to CAS

Rehtaeh Parsons was just 17. What could lead a 17-year-old to such a state that ending her life appeared to be the only way out of her misery? Cyber bullying, it appears. This case bears stark similarities to that of Amanda Todd’s – another teenager who took her own life early in October last year due to severe bullying over the internet. Both girls suffered from acute depression due to the fact that nasty rumours and compromising pictures of the two had been making rounds online. Teenagers can be cruel and intolerant. They can cripple your self-confidence to the point where you feel as ...

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The story of Amanda Yousufzai and Malala Todd

For the past few years, a young girl was tormented, teased and bullied by several different people. She had vile names thrown at her on the streets, received chilling phone calls and even multiple death threats. A week ago, the very same girl died. I know what you’re thinking: this writer is talking rubbish – Malala isn’t dead. This story isn’t about Malala, it’s about Amanda Todd, a 15-year old girl that hung herself in her room because of the humiliation she had faced at the hands of her classmates and stalkers on the internet. Unlike Malala, whose story has triggered ...

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My parents love me, but I can’t love them back

My parents are not divorced and no, they don’t fight all the time. They love me and I know it. I just can’t seem to love them back. So the story goes somewhat like this. I was thrown into a boarding school when I was still young. I was bullied day and night; my teachers were not too great and I was beaten up by the prefects and everyone in authority. Sure, I had spent my childhood getting beaten up by my father and my grandfather a million times, but I thought boarding school was supposed to be like Harry Potter, not The Dead ...

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