Bullied victim fights back

“Leave me the eff alone, you stupid insecure little runt!”

These were the last words of Casey Heynes, a 16 year old Australian student who had taken enough bullying from 12 year old Ritchard.  The bully (who was not only a lot younger, but also half the size of Casey and still found it a good idea to pick on the kid) was seen in a YouTube video repeatedly picking on Casey, punching him in the face and shoving him to the amusement of his friends.  And as the camera from a cellphone rolled, Casey lost his temper and told his bully off.  What happened next was what caused this video to go viral.  The bully was picked up by Casey, held high above his head for a few seconds before being slammed to the concrete ground in front of all his peers.  The end of the video shows the bully limping, practically falling over as he made his way towards the camera, his face contorted in tearful pain.  Casey is shown walking away.

See video HERE.  Warning, it’s brief, but it’s graphic.

As a result, the bullying Ritchard is now in the hospital with a broken nose and a shattered shin.  Casey is suspended from school and may face possible charges for defending himself.  And America has named Casey a hero as a victim of bullying who finally got tired and defended himself.

But is he a hero?

I watched the video, and I felt sickened by the whole thing.  It’s true, in all the cruelty that lies in schools in the teenage years, I’ve never had to endure torment as this kid Casey probably did.  And I know there are many who HAVE endured ridicule and bullying, and are cheering Casey on for standing up for himself against some kid who has surely been making his life a living hell.  I get the anger that has probably been building up, the resentment for being made fun of.  And it can be guaranteed this kid will not be messing with Casey every again. 

But should violence solving violence be hailed as heroism in our war against bullying?

Casey’s dad swears that his son is not a fighter, he just got tired of the bullying:

“There’ll be reprisals from other kids in the school and he still has to go to school somewhere,” Casey’s father said. “He’s not a violent kid, it’s the first time he’s lashed out and I don’t want him to be victimised over that.

“He’s always been taught never to hit. Apparently other people’s parents don’t teach their kids that.”

While the details of the whole story have been conflicting, it’s been reported that Ritchard is also suspended from school, and that his suspension is longer.  And protests have popped up online to “free Casey” from his suspension.

What are your thoughts on all this?

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16 thoughts on “Bullied victim fights back”

  1. Good for Casey. He acted honorably and within reason.

    What parent could watch him take those hits and NOT want him to defend himself? Clearly the “walk away and tell a trusted adult” approach has not worked in the past. I think he reacted EXACTLY as any human being should – defending himself.

  2. Most bullies will not stop their torment until the victim does get physical back. I thik Casey took enough & asked enough of that little a$$hole to leave him alone. That school & his parents should be ashamed that they weren’t doing more to protect the students he has decided are beneath him. I think Casey should be given a handshake & a slap on the back for a job well done!

  3. Notice that Casey warned the bully several times before “losing it” and dropping the kid to the ground. I work at a school and both students would have been suspended in this case. While my sympathies are with Casey and I suspect that he’d been picked on by the smaller boy for quite some time, this would be classified as mutual combat. Why the bully was allowed to get away with the harassment for this long, only the school could answer. Personally, I don’t blame Casey. He’s a child, after all, and enough is enough. When Ritchard gets out of the hospital, he should be put into counseling so that he doesn’t pick on other children ever again.

  4. @Janny- that the incident would have been considered “mutual combat”, and that disciplinary action would have been taken against both boys by your (or any) school is incorrect. Had Casey been a willing participant, and had he employed more force than what was necessary to repel the attack, or continued once the threat was abated, it would have been, but as it stands (and in similar cases) he had every lawful right to defend himself. In fact, even the perceived threat of imminent bodily harm would have been legally justifiable as a reason for him to strike first in a situation where no other recourse was evidently available. Something for schools to consider is: in denying an individual the right to justifiable self-defense, as well as to a safe educational environment, they risk being held legally responsible by the victim. Something to consider before you apply a one-size-fits-all approach to bullying and the consequences for those who victimize others. Practically, the bully deserved it, and Casey’s reaction was the best lesson he could have received. Much more so than being given a scolding and a day off.

  5. The motivation to strike back is understandable but violence isn’t justifiable. The fault in this case lies with the school not responding to a situation that had been a pattern.

  6. “The fault in this case lies with the school not responding to a situation that had been a pattern.”

    No, the fault in this case lies with the parents for irresponsibly raising this person.

    12 years old is certainly old enough to know better. And as the mother of a boy who’s always taller than his peers (he’s 11 yrs old right now and about 5’2″ tall) I can tell you that it’s ALWAYS the perception that the larger kid is at fault. I think Casey nailed it when he called the bully insecure.

    I don’t advocate violence as a first, second or even third resort, but bullies don’t understand reasoning, and most “normal” punishments (time out, take away favorite items, etc.) don’t work either. Bullies push and push and push, until the victim breaks, or someone seriously and physically intervenes. In this case, Casey intervened himself, and I am 100% on his side.

  7. Most of what I would say has been said; in a nutshell, the punk deserved what he got and got what he deserved. He was warned, and personally I think it’s bunk the victimized kid should get a longer suspension. This serves only to let other bullies know that in the event their bullying should get their asses kicked, then they can cry like a soccer player hamming it up for the refs and get their way. This incident should serve notice to bullies in general -of which I firmly believe the majority know what they are doing, come from affluent homes and are simply trying to elevate their status by putting down others- that you will no longer be safe in the confines of your school’s ignorance. WAY TO GO CASEY. Sorry, it’s just how I feel….

  8. Okay, read that wrong, but for the record that he even was suspended at all is bunk. Your post also says “possible charges for defending himself?” That’s bunk, too, and plays into my original point about bullies getting to play victim when they get their just desserts. No sympathy here, sorry.

  9. I agree with you about Casey. He should not have been punished at all. He was obviously provoked to the point of fighting back. But the severity in which he fought back showed him in an obvious state of being so angry he couldn’t hold back. The bully came away with a shattered shin and a broken nose – two very serious injuries. Don’t get me wrong, I am not finding sympathy with this bully who was obviously finding power in picking on a kid bigger than him. He needed to be knocked down a peg or two. But now the world is holding up this show of violence fighting violence as a heroic act, and I can just see this viral video enticing other kids to start punching and hitting and breaking bones to stop being victimized. And we’re looking at an all out war rather than a solution.

  10. As someone that was bullied in elementary school I can tell you that the only thing bullies understand is a violent response. I went to adults and nothing was done. One of the possible reasons for this was the bully was also a favorite of my teacher. Once I fought back, the bully backed off. It did cost me though, as the teacher did not recommend me for the honors track when I moved on to junior high school, even though that is where I should have gone.

  11. yeah what Janny and Eddie said

    Casey you should’ve just stood there and copped all the punches , you should be a punching bag for the bully to get some practice on , next time Casey , don’t retaliate , just put up with a smashed face , and bruised body , because you know you shouldn’t protect yourself, sure you might suffer pain , and maybe even die , but to fight back , well its not the done thing

  12. I am so glad that this kid defended himself against a little brat bully who thought was a big man to pick on someone that he thought could not defend himself. With so many kids killing themselves do to being bullied by there classmates this kid Casey he will actually help someone who is being bullied to stand up for himself. Casey deserves an apology from all of the brats that where watching and enjoying him being harassed by a midget napoleon, his parents must be so proud that there little napoleon got his ass kicked not that I enjoy violance I do enjoy justice. And Casey had the legal right to defend himself he did not start the fight he turned his cheek twice on what I saw on the video. And he tolerated the abuse for some time what happen to children being safe at school where are the teachers,counselors prinicipal.
    But they are sure there to discipline him(Casey) I bet if someone started a petition for Casey I bet he would have millions of signatures starting with my entire family he was in is right to defend himself against an attacker napoleon. I sickens me that this little napoleon got what two weeks suspension he should be transferred to another school and what about the other kid that went after casey he is another one that needs to be suspended as matter of fact all the kids present where part of the crime being committed they all had the oppurtunity to stop or call someone to stop they all have cells and what does that say for the parents raising these kids.
    The only parents I see raising there kid right is Casey parents they taught him to turn the cheek and avoid confrontation but he is human and he defended himself, and to little napoleon everytime you move it will hurt maybe you will think twice before attacking just for the fun of it where are your friends now when you are hurting you should be embarresd of what you did and apologize to casey for your actions if your parents have any respect for anyone they would ground you for a year. Would you like someone to do that to you are anyone in your family?

  13. As a mother of a child who gets bullied I have to say way to go Casey. My child has a very kind and loving heart and gets bullied all the time and the school systems just don’t deal with the bullys in a way that stops them from doing it. The parents of these children who do the bullying don’t care and don’t redirect their children to act in the right manner. I can tell you my child has gotten in trouble at school for telling on a bully so with this I have now directed my child to punch someone if he is touched again.I feel it is the only way the bullying is going to stop.

  14. I honestly commend Casey for standing up…I am a college student and I am writing a research paper on teen bullying and this is a great story. The things that I have researched and read about is horrible. Teens actually committ suicide because of bullies just like the one in the video. Its really sad and heartbreaking for kids to act the way that they do, but good for Casey for standing up for himself.

  15. My son was to being bulled and the principal is giving him in school suspension for pushing kid back after being pushed twice and kicked. The other boy did receive out of school suspension but why must my son. My son was the one who reported it to the school not a teacher or administrator. So what the school is telling me is my son just needs to stand there and take it and then go tell a teacher. Bull s**t.

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