Hey, I see you guys are finally modernizing, getting all that wonderful capitalism and global democracy into you! Good to hear. Soon, you'll be beating the crap out of your neighbors, complaining about welfare, the economy, and reading articles on the frontpages of your newspapers asking "Are we a nation of slobs?" Hey hey, this is progress! Ha ha, only serious.
I've gotten desensitized to this kind of thing, mainly because it is so common here. Every day hundreds of kids are assaulted in our public schools while the school officials and politicians turn a blind eye to it. If the kid fights back, we'll have to drug him up until he's properly dossile and non-combative. The net result is we are creating a culture of disenfranchised youth (and adults) who are sick of the system. Witness the deep resonance felt by the entire geek community when the first Hellmouth story was posted (and then the dismay when they realized they'd stoked Katz's ego and had to sit through the next seven). The fact of the matter is, this is common.
The common scapegoats are violence on television, lack of role models, not being tough enough on crime, and "moral depravity" (I really like that one). In reality, it's none of them. It's a symptom of the values and beliefs of our society, brought on by (in part!) rapid modernization and capitalism, which has thrown our entire value system into chaos across the board.
That's why the conservatives have been elected in this country (the US) - people want a breather. Gender roles are up in the air, feminists are demanding "more than equal" rights, our civil rights are under attack, our judicial system is a sinking boat - dragging our legislative bodies down with it, and now I hear we're on the brink of a recession.
So, uh, like, duh - of course people are alittle edgy right now, and it shows up in increased violence in the workplace and in schools. Remember, unhappy parents make for unhappy kids - and a rise in abuse. I think though the reactionary forces at work here are only going to intensify and worsen the situation.
I can't provide any advice on how to fix the problems of the world, but I can tell you how you can help another person, especially a kid: Give them some respect. Listen to them. Believe what they say, and act on it. If a kid is saying he's being abused, don't dismiss it out of hand or say it's his/her fault. Offer realistic advice, instead of the tired dogma we're all used to. Sure, drugs are bad, but rather than just saying drugs will make your genitals shrivel up, your lungs turn black, and your eyesight to go to crap, why not share your own personal experiences, and provide medical information about drugs? Most teens are capable of making rational, adult, decisions - they're a shorter version of many of the "adults" I see walking around the office every day. We often are blinded by our own values and subjective morality and try to judge people instead of accept them as people - as a result, we often can't really hear what these kids are trying to say. Pull up a chair and give them some sustained attention and thought, and you can find a solution for both of you. Honest - try it.
I don't find it at all suprising that the police did this. They're the last line of defense, and the worst at helping a situation like this. Now, not only have you isolated this kid, you've also attached the stigma of having been a "rat", meaning when he goes back to school, he'll be beat up again - and worse. If a girl had been gang-raped, those kids would now be behind jail, yet because it was a male-on-male crime, it goes unpunished. That is sexism. Both crimes are violent, and need swift justice. What I'm seeing here is eerily familiar to our own political systems on the other side of the great lakes.
Canadians, for your own safety and well-being - stop this before you have a problem on your hands you are ill equipped to deal with. Take an active role - call them, talk to the kids, march into school and bust down the doors if you have to - but whatever you do, do something!
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.