Sunday, 19 October 2014

Ronan's escape : Insights

A short but moving overview of the emotional distress and isolation experienced by victims of bullying, ending in devastating circumstances. Interesting to note the onlookers and by standers that did nothing to challenge the bully’s, or indeed help the victim.

There were several opportunities for adults to intervene, not only challenging and stopping the bullies there and then, but failure to provide support and assistance to the victim.

The PE teacher did not question what had happened to Ronan on his arrival to his lesson, late, dirty face and clothes, he should have intervened here, as he should also have helped Ronan to his feet after his fall. This is I believe an over exaggeration of teachers not noticing signs of bullying for the purpose of this film, but does however make me wonder how many more subtle signs I myself and many of my colleges have missed over the years.

The bus driver allowing bullying on the bus, and surly common sense would make you question an unscheduled and remote stop?

It is a sad reality of life that children will be bullied in school, but also maybe into adult life. In schools and other child oriented environments there are procedures and protocols to identify bulling, reprimand aggressors and support victims. In adult life in many working environments there are no such mechanisms, and that’s why it’s important that victims of bullying receive support, to enable them to cope with emotional distress, rebuild their self-worth, but also to build confidence and resilience and avoid becoming victims of work place bullying in the future.

It’s also interesting to note that a recent film
(2011) did not feature technology or cyber-bulling.

Christine Blower of the NUT said in 2012 “Children are not tins of beans and schools are not factory production lines” (
The danger of targets, performance related pay, continuously high and exhausting workloads etc. for teachers is that they can disengage from learners as individuals, missing key signs of not just bullying, but children whom are at risk, victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, children who are child carers or whom have very complex and difficult home circumstances.

I think that this short film reinforces that education should be about much more that A*-C passes, it’s the whole child, their life, their future contribution to society.

Ronan may well have been More Able and Talented, he may well have achieved high examination results, he may have been targeted for being a C / D grade boundary, or targeted for having a positive impact of EAM Level 2, it’s all academic. Ronan wasn’t happy, would not have engaged in school as well as he would have if he was not being bullied and he paid the ultimate price.

I will make sure that Monday morning I’m paying that bit extra attention to every child that walks in and out of my classroom.


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