Another Critic, Another E-Mail, I Respond
Out Of Proportion. First, I was shocked by your insensitivity for the
victim! According to you, since there was no physical damage to this young
boy, no "nose-cracking punches, the kicks to the groin,the tooth-rattling
slaps in the face, " there is no 'scary and 'disturbing' violence." You
also assert that "...it was a fairly standard case of bullying, a low-
violence , but highly intimidating exercise in humiliation." Are you
joking? The perpetrators hung the boy up on a fence after being hung up on
a tree! The psychological damage to this boy can be devastating for many
years to come. One does not need to suffer physical scars when being
abused. Perhaps, you've never heard of verbal abuse?
What is amazing to me is that you never mentioned how long this bullying
went on. From the information I received, this went on for a half-hour!
Secondly, you said that this was "dumbly captured by one of the perpetrators
themselves for all the world to see." In other words, it was okay to do the
bullying as long as they didn't video it. I believe your column is
irresponsible and it begs these questions: 1) Have you ever taken a course
called Psychology 101? 2) Do you have children, and if you do, would you
feel this bullying would be "blown out of proportion " if it was one of your
In my assessment, and I feel I speak for many others, is that the youth who
took the video is just as guilty as the others. Gee, do you think he was
videoing this bullying as a public service to show the world the horrors of
bullying? No, he couldn't wait to show it on YouTube so that others could
see how "bad" or "cool" his crowd is. This is mob violence and these
perpetrators should get the maximum penalty for what they did. But, of
course they won't and this young victim will undoubtedly have more emotional
turmoil to deal with in the future. Nothing good can come out of this
"standard case of bullying."
Finally, I would like to make a proposal for you and I to discuss your
column in a public forum before any high school or junior high school
audience which would include students as well as parents. Perhaps, then we
will see if this "bullying incident is blown out of proportion."
I eagerly await your response.
It seems I am always shocking people with my insensitivity. But the main point of the column was that the police over-charged the juveniles in this case ("Kidnapping" was one of the charges) and described the attack, which resulted in only the most minor of physical injuries, as "brutal," "vicious," "heinous," etc.
I have no truck with bullies or bullying. It's how it is dealt with that matters. In this case, the courts agreed with me, dropping all the most serious charges against the young men accused.
In my column, I have defended juvenile bullying victims before. There was one case where a Rose Tree Media middle school girl who being bullied by several classmates was forced to eat lunch by herself in the nurses office because the school district thought that was the best way to protect her from her tormentors. Isolating the victim instead of punishing the bullies seemed to me to be a fundamentally wrong-headed approach to the problem. The girl was eventually allowed to change schools districts at RTM's expense.
In this case, I had serious doubts about the parading of 13-year-old Nadin Khoury on national TV, making him the poster child of an anti-bullying campaign and whether it would be good for him. But it may have won him a scholarship to attend the private Valley Forge Military Academy in King of Prussia, which beats attending an alternative school in Upper Darby any day. So maybe I was wrong.
As for Jay's proposal to debate me in a public forum, I'll say no thanks for now.
Unless I am mistaken, Jay is the same Jay Gullo, who bills himself as a "respected and gifted psychic/medium."
According to his bio:
"He can get messages from specific spirits from the other side. Jay has been teaching classes on metaphysics and reincarnation in the West Chester Adult School for over 10 years. Jay has a full time metaphysical practice which includes spiritual and clairvoyant counseling, astrology and past life information.How could I be sure during our debate that Jay wasn't enlisting his entire spirit army to crush my arguments and then haunt me like that demon thing from the movie "Paranormal"?
So, like I said, I think I'll pass.
UPDATE: A new E-mail from Jay admitting to his scary talents and awesome resume.
Gil,As I thought I made clear earlier, I do not publicly debate ANY ISSUE with self-professed "psychics," especially those, like Jay, who claim they "can get messages from specific spirits from the other side."
I just received your email with your snide attempt at being funny by putting the word "gifted" in quotation marks. You certainly are open-minded I can tell. But, yes this is who I am in addition to being a retired school teacher.
First, what does this have to do with the email I sent you? Secondly, I could retaliate, as a retired English Teacher, as to your word usage as a "professional "columnist; but I was hoping for a more substantial dialogue. Is this not possible?
If this defines me as "closed-minded," so be it.