You may have heard about it in the papers- the boy who attacked two girls after they called him Harry Potter. (if you are unfamiliar with the story, feel free to visit the link below.)
One cannot deny that Ryan Walkers actions were violent and immoral, as he brutally beat and cut the faces of two teenage girls, landing him a 4 year prison sentence… but after reading the article, I couldn’t help but feel that justice had not been served.
It turns out that Ryan Walker was a victim of bullying, claiming that he had been persistently harassed by the two teenage girls throughout his school life. Before the attack, they followed him from his block of flats hurling abuse at him, saying he looked like J.K Rowling character ‘Harry Potter’. He took a knife, knowing they would follow him.
It made me question, who was the real victim?
Bullying is something which surround the society I live in, and although I hate to admit it, bullying is often ignored. Adults call it ‘childs play’, and are seemingly blind (or ignorant) to the pain and fear it brings to children.
Suicide from bullying is the third leading cause of death in adolescents and teenagers. Is this what it would take for Ryan bullies to be punished?
Perhaps for the first time, Ryan Walker defended himself, in a questionable way that probably arose from desperation… he was handed a hefty 4 year prison sentence- and the “victim” bullies?
“a scar… that will be there for years.”
What about Ryan’s scars? They aren’t visible to everyone else, but Ryan knows they’re there because he feels the knife slice him on the inside, each time the girls called him “wimp” or “Harry Potter”.
To me, this is injustice at its peak.
An article, that could have been used as a moral message to bullies, instead appears to victimise an already damaged child who has been bullied to breaking point- and then instead of repairing the damaged Ryan, they throw him in jail to be forgotten about.
What message do I receive?
Stand up to a bully and get arrested.
Be a bully and become a martyr.
Physical violence can never be condoned, and i do not deny that the experience must have been terrifying for the girls… but is physical abuse really any different to verbal abuse?
Where are Leah and Emma’s prison sentences?
They roam free, perhaps carrying on to victimise, and push others to breaking point. In the meantime, Ryan will be tryings to repair the internal damage they have inflicted upon him.
But his wounds can’t be healed with stitches.
Featured image: http://jukeboxdc.com/2014/02/pics-teenager-stabs-one-girl-beats-another-because-they-called-him-harry-potter/