To celebrate Anti-Bullying Week, Lister Community School held a debate, on the 16th of November, on the motion - This house believes bullies should be punished.

The proposition team consisted of four students: Faris Qureshi (Year 9), Sara Lutfor (Year 10), Mubarak Ahmed (Year 10) and Muhammad Daud Patel (Year 10). The opposition consisted of four students: Migle Vascilaite (Year 10), Nazeerah Patel (Year 10), Naseerah Patel (Year 10) and Mohima Islam (Year 10).

The debaters where well prepared, accepting questions from the floor and rebutting the opposing teams, with clear concise points. However, as all debates do, it came down to one team, the opposition, who convinced the cheering crowds to join their views on the motion.

Here is what Nazeerah Patel (best speaker), with cheering crowds supporting here, had to say about the proposal:

‘I believe bullies should not undergo punishment for bullying others.

 I already know what you are thinking, she’s absurd, how can you not punish a bully? They torture people, ruin people’s lives and cause victims to feel depressed, feel social anxiety and even have suicidal thoughts.

But what the opposing side might not have mentioned is the fact that 24% of those who have been bullied, go on to bully.

Yes. You heard that right. People who have been bullied are almost twice as likely to bully others (facts state).

What this means is that people who bully have depression, social anxiety, suicidal thoughts and the only way to express this injustice is to take their anger out on others i.e. to bully others.

Therefore the resolution to bullying is not to punish as it could aggravate the situation, meaning there is no guarantee that the bully would stop – in fact it could cause the bully to bully even more.

To combat the problem of bullying, we must follow the words of our beloved Martin Luther King:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” 

Nazeerah Patel - Lister Community School