Matthew Bent of Kaukauna, Wisconsin has had enough. His son had been harassed by a group of bullies since the school year had begun, and when he discovered that his son had been body-slammed and had a necklace stolen from him, he decided that it was the last straw. Bent went to the police regarding the assault, but after explaining everything that happened, the police decided to blame the victim for everything. “They said it was his fault ‘for going into the lions [sic] den.'”
He tried to explain that situations like these had been happening for months, but these concerns were brushed off as well with a non-committal, “one issue at a time” and the past was done as far as the officers were concerned.
Bent was frustrated. The authorities would do nothing, and the school was willing to overlook everything that had happened, believing that if his son hadn’t wanted to be bullied, he should have stayed away from the other children.
Bent did something brave and posted his outrage on social media. Initially, it was released in all CAPS, but has since been removed and re-posted by many other sites and forums who don’t want this message to go unheard.
The authorities claim that this father only posted one side of the story. They claim that the entire incident (and all incidents leading up to the body-slamming) were just the effects of “consensual roughhousing” between kids. But Bent’s son had one last, chilling statement to make before everything was swept under the rug:
If I would have hit the ground the wrong way and my neck would have snapped, I would have been done.”
While this entire disaster is frustrating (what if it was YOUR kid?), it has opened our eyes to the problem that bullying has become. Children get away with this behavior without any sort of punishment. Their behavior is excused as “they’re just playing,” or “he didn’t really mean it.” But the most terrifying part about all of this is the way the authorities reacted when confronted with the fact that these boys were harming another student:
He shouldn’t have “gone into the lion’s den.” Blaming the victim is something many schools are falling back on to avoid trouble. It’s important to document these incidents as they happen to avoid them adding “what’s passed is in the past” as well. How would you have handled this?