Nothing glorious about bullying
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Nothing glorious about bullying

K-drama, The Glory, raised awareness about bullying on the internet.  jisun park
K-drama, The Glory, raised awareness about bullying on the internet. jisun park

After Netflix K-drama The Glory, which was about school bullying, was launched at the end of 2022, it raised awareness about the problem and many Thai netizens often discussed it. In The Glory, the female protagonist was beaten and her body was burned in several places with a hair curler by a gang of teenagers. It was a shock to know that the case was inspired by a true event.

In a post about The Glory on Twitter, many Thai netizens shared their own personal experiences of physical and verbal bullying in schools. Like the female protagonist in The Glory, victims said they could not escape from the torment because their abusers ganged up on them. Physical bullying seems to be more severe than cyberbullying because victims are in pain both physically and mentally.

One victim wrote he got away from constant physical bullying inflicted on him only when by a certain point he couldn't take it any more, so he beat up his abusers with a broom. The gang of bullies was stunned and did not bother the victim again. However, many victims did not fight back. Instead, they quit school or became home-schooled to avoid their abusers.

The worse part about bullying is victims are ignored by their classmates and teachers. Most classmates ignore the bullying because they are afraid of the gang of bullies. One guy wrote that he tried to help a victim. Surprisingly, everyone in the class turned against him including the victim. He was disappointed and gave up the idea of helping other people.

Many victims tried to tell their teachers that they were bullied, but the teachers did not pay attention to them. Instead, they told victims it was just a joke or a prank or it was how friends play with each other. A victim told her mother that she was bullied by a classmate and her mother complained to the teacher. After her mother left, the teacher was mad at her and called her a snitch. The teacher claimed that the bullying was not that serious.

Many bullying cases were solved when parents took action. In one case, a writer wrote that her niece, whose legs were physically handicapped, told her that a group of male classmates played a prank by covering her head with a rag and pulling the rag back and forth. Her niece was very frightened, but could not escape. The next day, the writer met with parents of the male students. A mother of one abuser claimed that her child just played a harmless prank and asked what the writer wanted. The writer said that she wanted to cover the boys' heads with a rag and rub their heads the same way they did to her niece. All mothers were furious with her request, but they realised that their children's prank was hurtful and not right. This case ended with apologies from the abusers who promised not to harm others again.

One of the most popular posts about The Glory and bullying on Twitter related that Korean showbiz takes bullying scandals seriously. When Korean celebrities are accused of bullying other people, their performance events are immediately cancelled even though their abusive behaviour may have happened in the past. From that post, stories of Thai celebrities who were abusers in the past were revealed.

One writer accused an actor, who was her classmate in middle school, of bullying other students including a student with autism. The writer gave some hints which made people assume the actor was Ohm Pawat. He is a popular actor who has 4.5 million followers on Instagram. He rose to international fame from the Boys Love Bad Buddy series. Ohm responded to the post by writing an apology. He admitted that during his middle school years he was a mischievous boy who played pranks on others, but he did not intend to hurt anyone. His teachers scolded him and his gang of friends and punished them by hitting them with a stick. The school also called up their parents. He apologised to everyone who had been affected by his past mischievous behaviour.

His apology received both positive and negative feedback. While many fans continued to support him, Ohm still receives many hateful comments. Some fans commented that the bullying incident happened when he was young, so he did not realise the harm that his actions could inflict on people. However, many people criticised that his behaviour was not only mischievous, but that it was wicked and cruel because he bullied a student with autism.

It must be an important lesson for Ohm and other people to think twice before playing "pranks" on others. Bullying awareness in Thailand has risen in the past few years. In the past, even parents, relatives and teachers used to mock their children and students without realising that their harsh words were hurtful. A lot more childhood bullying cases like Ohm's must have occurred.

In The Glory, the victim's revenge plan is to destroy the lives of all her abusers. On Twitter, when someone questioned what victims want from their past abusers, some victims want a sincere apology and others want their abusers to experience the same suffering they had. Abusers should sincerely apologise to victims. Unfortunately, most abusers do not really remember what they did to their victims or do not realise that their actions have severe effects on victims. It is important for victims to not blame themselves for what happened and seek help, particularly by consulting with experts to restore their mental health. It may be fun to watch the protagonist in The Glory spend her whole life getting revenge on the abusers, but in real life, staying away from abusers and focusing on improving your own life is more worthwhile.

Suwitcha Chaiyong is a feature writer for the Life section of the Bangkok Post.

Suwitcha Chaiyong

Feature writer for the Life section

Suwitcha Chaiyong is a feature writer for the Life section of the Bangkok Post.

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