It has been almost two weeks since Australian teenager Casey Heynes became a worldwide Internet sensation, and while two weeks doesn’t seem like a very long time, it can be an eternity in Web years. More specifically, it can be 15 minutes, but thanks to round-the-clock media, Casey’s story of bravery and standing up to his bullies is receiving some longevity. And that might not be the best thing.
As the “bully” Ritchard Gale told the Australian news show Today Tonight, he was the victim in this tale of a boy standing up for himself, as he claims that Casey had been picking on him. But I assume that Ritchard got a look at the Internet’s dossier on this case and decided otherwise. Despite an erroneous initial report by the Australian media, Ritchard’s mom told a news reporter that she expected her son to apologize to Casey for attacking him. After all, the now famous video footage shows Ritchard punching Casey three times as his friends filmed it and added their own taunts. It has also been revealed that Ritchard gave his phone to his friends to film his fight. And it didn’t help that he had another boy standing with him, presumably playing the role of enforcer.
But we all know the story now, or at least what we’ve chosen to believe, and Ritchard has indeed apologized by leaving the above note on Casey’s doorstep. Casey, of course, was suspended from school for four days, as was Ritchard initially. However, the smaller aggressor received a much larger suspension of 20 days because he intentionally filmed the ordeal. And that is what the teachers and administrators at Casey’s school are so upset about. They claim that by even praising Casey’s defense against taunting and bullying (he also admitted in his own interview that he has previously contemplated suicide, I might add) we are glorifying violence and that makes it harder for teachers to dissolve problems at their schools.
So what then, did Casey’s self defense and Ritchard’s embarrassing apology teach the rest of the world? To get paid. Early reports indicate that both families have been paid around $40,000 each for interviews, making this a pretty sweet deal for them, seeing as with current Internet fame trends their clocks should be ticking down pretty soon, if they haven’t already.
- A San Antonio man is spending his days in jail covering his “border” after he shot up a Taco Bell store when employees informed him that the prices on his favorite items had gone up 50 cents. And let this be a warning for my local Taco Bells should they keep me waiting much longer for the return of the Volcano Taco. (Time)
- A Montana man is also in the clink after he allegedly used the divorce papers that his wife recently served him to burn down her beauty parlor. Responded the judge, “You have to admit that’s pretty funny, right?” (Great Falls Tribune)
KNOW YOUR STATS
- At least 50% of teenagers in America are the victims of cyber bullying on a daily basis, and more than 25% of teens are bullied via their phones and the Internet. Despite those alarming numbers, only 1 in 10 kids will actually report the bullying to their parents. (Bullying Statistics)
- 77% of American kids are bullied verbally and physically, regardless of age. As a result, at least 100,000 kids carry a gun to school, with 28% of those kids being the products of violent homes. (Where Peace Lives)