The 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named, caused a 14-year-old classmate to attempt suicide by repeatedly calling her "wog, coon, nigger, gorilla and golliwog" for six months.
Lincoln magistrates, who convicted the boy of racially aggravated harassment, heard that the girl took a mixture of pills and wrote a goodbye note to her family.
However, his conviction - the first for the crime over an incident in a school - prompted questions over whether such bullying should be dealt with through criminal law.
David Green, the director of Civitas, the right-leaning think-tank, said that while the boy's behaviour should be condemned, "the law does not belong in the schoolyard in these cases".
"We are not talking stabbings or serious assault here," Dr Green said. "This should be a matter for the school and the children's parents."
Well, yes and no. First, I would say that it should be dealt with by the school and the parents but what is absolutely and ridiculously obvious is that, in this case, both the school and the parents utterly failed to deal with it.
So, given that, it seems appropriate—since we do hold children responsible for their actions in law (from the age of about 11, I believe)—to bring the child to court.
But it is not really that case that I want to comment on: I wanted, instead, to draw attention to this...
Emma-Jane Cross, the chief executive of the charity Beatbullying, said: "Picking on someone for their race is unacceptable. A young girl was mercilessly bullied to the brink of suicide."
I had this article in my Dock for reference, but hadn't got around to writing about it. I was reminded, however, by today's reports on "sexts".
More than a third of under-18s have been sent offensive or distressing sexual images electronically, a survey by the charity Beatbullying suggests.
A large majority of the 2,094 respondents said a fellow teenager had sent it, compared with 2% who said an adult had sent the message.
The charity said "sexting" constituted bullying and was a growing problem.
Beatbullying asked 2,094 teenagers aged 11-18, and 38% had received such content via new technologies.
I hadn't heard of BeatBullying before, but here they are trying to influence government policy and being quoted approvingly by the
I think that it might be time to delve into their accounts, don't you?
The overview of Beatbullying's accounts show that they had an income of £586,811 in their latest accounts (July 2007 and submitted at the end of May 2008). Now, let's see how much has come from the pockets of taxpayers*, shall we?
- London Councils (formerly the Association of London Government)—running costs and salaries: £103,700
- DFES (used to be Department for Education and Sport, and is now the Department for Children, Schools and Families)—£90,000
- Greater London Authority—£9,000
- Total: £202,700 (34.54% of total funding)
So, yet another one for fakecharities.org then...
UPDATE: my colleague, The Filthy Smoker, has reminded me of the Daily Mash's take on the "sexts" story...
A CHARITY set up to protect teenagers from bullying cannot tell when it is being lied to, it emerged last night.
Beatbullying said that more than a third of teenagers had been sent a sexually explicit text message which they found distressing, even though they obviously didn't.
* I haven't counted the £68,335 from Comic Relief, since people—for reasons known only to themselves—seem to be easily induced to lob money at Lenny Henry, bloody French and fucking Saunders and other sundry annoying