Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Young men being stabbed and killed almost weekly now in London

As mentioned earlier, another youth was stabbed in London, this time a young man from Plaistow in East London, when last week there was a lad down in Hammersmith in West London who was stabbed to death. Previously, most of the stabbings were in South London.

There was an interesting article on the BBC news last night, where 800 pupils of a comprehensive school signed a 'No Knives' petition. An expert,a previous gang member was asked why it is that so many young people turn to gangs and he mentioned that often the children came from difficult home situations and were maybe bullied at school. The gang is seen to offer them an identity and security and protection from the bullies. This is a clear sign that bullying is a very very serious issue and, given the growth in the number of gangs, probably the schools are failing very badly in tackling bullying.

There are organisations like ChildLine to which children can turn when they are being bullied but I have not seen any forum to help people where the school is failing to deal with bullying. They all seem to assume that a teacher is to be trusted and that any school will take bullying seriously. This appears not to be the case. In some cases, it can even be the teacher who is being the bully. In cases like this, people tend to pull rank and defend each other, leaving the victim even more helpless.

The UNICEF report naming the UK as the developed country where children are the unhappiest identified bullying as a very serious problem. It is a national tragedy and we now are seeing the results on the estates of London on a weekly basis. Terrible.

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