Solution to Rampant Bullying–Forgiveness Education

Yet another tragic school incident, this one involving two 11-year-old boys. Yet another case of bullying gone uncurbed. Yet another example of amazing forgiveness.

An 11-year-old boy at Pacific Christian School in Auckland (on the north island of New Zealand), was stabbed in the right temple by an 11-year-old classmate wielding a pair of school scissors on Tuesday (June 24, 2014). Bullying-AppleThe injured boy was taken to Starship Children’s Hospital, where he remains in critical condition in a coma. Doctors are unable to determine if he will ever fully recover.

The boy’s assailant, an 11-year-old classmate, was taken into custody and turned over to Child, Youth and Family care. According to The New Zealand Herald, “the stabbing shocked the country given the ages of those involved.”

The injured boy’s uncle said his nephew’s parents have already forgiven the other boy. “We don’t hold grudges, we remember the Lord’s Prayer. That’s how they feel.”

In the wake of the stabbing, which happened just moments after the teacher left the room,  Pacific Christian School has been accused of “knowing about classroom bullying but failing to act,” the Herald reported.

“That’s not at all unusual,” says Dr. Robert Enright, founder of the International Forgiveness Institute based in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. “In most cases, teachers don’t know how to handle students that bully and administrators are unable to provide clear guidance except for disciplinary procedures.”

AISDBulliedinSchool2Earlier this year, Dr. Enright developed The Anti-Bullying Forgiveness Program: Reducing the Fury Within Those Who Bully based on his more than 20 years of scientific forgiveness research and his Forgiveness Education Curriculum Guides that have been tested and in full use for more than a dozen years by schools in places like Belfast, Northern Ireland, and more recently in Monrovia, Liberia (West Africa), and Israel-Palestine.

“It is our contention that bullying starts from within, as anger, and comes out as displaced anger onto the victim,” Dr. Enright said. “Forgiveness targets this anger and then reduces it, thus reducing or eliminating the displaced anger which comes out as bullying.”

Unless we eliminate the anger in the hearts of those who bully,” Dr. Enright believes, “we will not eliminate bullying.”

Dennis Blang
Director
International Forgiveness Institute

3 thoughts on “Solution to Rampant Bullying–Forgiveness Education

  1. Samantha July 23, 2014 / 1:23 pm

    The anger in youth seems to be increasing rapidly relative to years before. I can’t even imagine such violence, say, 20 years ago. You have been saying that you have one antidote to anger’s rise and it is forgiveness education. It is a wise solution.

    Like

  2. Chris July 25, 2014 / 9:11 pm

    Your way is unique. It may take time for schools to wake up to it. Persevere because you are speaking the truth.

    Like

  3. Marta July 31, 2014 / 12:08 pm

    All the restraint and detentions and punishment that a school can dish out to a bully will not work if that bully is enraged. Your approach is wise because it is intended to quiet that rage. School punishment may intensify the rage.

    Like

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