Author: Rae Katana. Photographer: Cassandra Middles
Okay, so we’ve all had to deal with that student who verges on the violent edge. Usually they are a notorious bully, sometimes they have just been through something that causes them to lash out. We all have bad days. But, some things are inexcusable. Some of those things we have seen this year, and are worried about seeing more of again. So, if a student is in a violent situation, what should they do?
It definitely isn’t noddy work. So, let’s get down to business. First things first, try to find a prefect or professor. Chances are, you shouldn’t have to deal with it.
Second step, if you can’t find a professor or prefect or just aren’t in a situation where that is plausible, try to diffuse the situation with words or, if that doesn’t work, try to get away. Yes, your first form of defensive action is to RUN AWAY.
Now we come upon the point where ethics come into question. This is here where the grey is more common than the black or white. Where does self defense end and offense begin? If you are being attacked, of course you have the right to defend yourself. But to what extent? Over the next few installations we will explore this question with the help from prefects, Professors, and Heads of Houses.
As a student who has been in situations where I felt this line is blurred, I feel it is of utmost importance to get the opinions from some Professors and important people here at Hogwarts. However, this issue is from the perspective of a regular student.
What do I do when I’m confronted by a bully? I ask a lot of questions (if I’m having a good day). I tend to try to understand what they are being aggressive for – were they in a fight? Did I do something wrong? In other words, I try to find a peaceful solution to the freak-out. Most times, this works, as people tend to be all talk and no trousers.
However, if they are completely set on using violence, and there are no Professors around, I always attempt a shield charm and/or expelliarmus. Most times, this is quite effective as the student is angry and unprepared. But, it only works against other charms.
What if they are using physical violence? I do my darnedest to sod off. But, I have the advantage of long legs and good lungs – not all witches or wizards do. So, second best option – find a hiding place. If you can’t out run them, you can certainly outsmart them (let’s hope). How you do this, is, of course, situation dependent. Let’s hope you aren’t on your back foot.
But, what if neither of these options are available? There may be times where you have to retaliate for personal safety, or safety of your friends. I get it. And this is the big question. We’ve all learned defensive and offensive spells in dueling club – but school rules say we are not allowed to duel outside of this club. Which means, quite clearly, that we are not allowed to use the spells or techniques we’ve learned outside of the club. As any good reporter might, I had to ask – but isn’t the purpose of dueling club to learn how to defend ourselves against dark magic? And isn’t dark magic any magic cast with the intent to harm another? So, it seems like bullying is the most common opportunity we would have to use these skills.
Well, you’ll just have to see what the answer is according to the interviews printed in the next few issues. For now, best option is to leave that situation, ASAP.
Sincerely Yours in Times of War and Peace,
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