Monday, October 30, 2006

Facing the mob. . .

By Kirsten Nour Namskau

I was in 4th primary . . . Magne was in 3rd primary . . . .
Magne was a well-raised boy, always neat and clean, polite to everybody, did his homework and class-work at the very best.
But . . . it was something with Magne which made him vulnerable. His one eye did not move. It was only staring straight forward.
This was enough to catch the mob’s attention.

Every day, Magne was a victim of the mob. They hassled him both verbally and physically.
One day I told my father about Magne and how he got mobbed in the breaks at school.
My father asked: “ But . . . where is the teacher who is supervising the playground ? Don’t they react on what is happening?”
I told him that it seemed they didn’t see it.
Then my father said: “ Kirsten, if you see Magne get mobbed, you have to inform the teacher who is on duty in the playground.”
I looked for Magne the next day, but didn’t see him. Magne didn’t show up at school for long time.

Magne had got enough. . . . When he came home from school that day, his parents noticed he was more silent than usually, but didn’t make any fuss out of it. After Magne had gone to bed and his parents some hours later also wanted to go to bed, his father wanted to take a last peep into Magnes room, to see if he was OK.
He realized in a split of a second that something was very wrong with Magne.
Magne was rushed to the hospital where they discovered that Magne had taken a huge quantum of sleeping-pills. His life was in serious danger and he had to stay in intensive care for several days.
Now, it became clear for everybody how serious Magnes case was. Magnes father went to the school and had a meeting with the teachers, the headmaster and the school-doctor, to inform them about what Magne had been advised to do, if it happened again.

After some time, Magne came back to school and for some time it appeared as if the mobbing took off.
But slowly they started again . . .

One day I saw the mob was real cruel to Magne. Suddenly three of them took Magne between themselves and carried him to a huge trash-container. They opened the lid and throw Magne inside and shouted: “ Here is where you belong. Feel at home.”
I run to the teacher who was on duty and called for her attention: “ Teacher, they are mobbing Magne. You have to help him. They have thrown him in the trash-container.”
I shouted out several times and pulled the teachers arm.
She looked at me and said: “ I have not seen anything. What I have not seen, I don’t know anything about.”
I looked at her with big eyes: “ Are you not going to help Magne? “
I continued: “ If you turn around, you will see that they are standing around the trash-container and make mockery with Magne who is inside, and he can’t come out because someone is sitting on the lid.”
The teacher repeated: “ I don’t turn on your command, little miss sneak. As I said, what I have not seen, I don’t know, and if I don’t’ know . . . how can I help?”
I looked at her with big eyes and whispered: “ But I told you . . . “
The bell rang, and soon the play-ground was empty of children as they all attended class. But one did not come to class . . . Magne.

His class had come half way into the lesson when Magne knocked at the door. When he opened the door he stopped for a few second (which felt like minutes) and looked at the class. He looked filthy, with sandwich residues in his hair and on his clothes. . .
He went up to the teacher and whispered something to her.

Those who had mobbed him started to feel uncomfortable. But the teacher didn’t say anything, so they relaxed a little again, but only for a few second . . . The teacher went to the phone and made a call.
The mob stiffened, but still the teacher didn’t say anything and Magne was still at the teacher’s desk.
A few minutes went ( which felt like hours) when someone knocked at the door and in came the headmaster and the school-doctor.
The mob got pale, but still no one said anything. The headmaster and the doctor took a sharp glance at the class before they went to the back of the class-room and took seat at two empty chairs.

Magne went to the front of the class and looked at each and one of his classmates . . .
With silent, controlled voice he said: “I know that I get mobbed because my one eye does not move. . . . My eye became like this after an accident when I was two years old. An item pierced my eye and I lost it. . . I have only one eye.”
He continue: “The eye I can not move, is not real. It is made of glass and I have to take it out when I go to bed.”
Magne lifted his hand up to his face and in front of the class, he removed the eye.
There . . . in front of the class was Magne standing . . . with only one eye. Where the other eye had been, was now only an open hole.
Suddenly, Magne did a move with his hand as he shouted to his worse mobber: “ Hi Petter, catch it !!! “
Something went through the air and without thinking Petter, as an instant reaction only opened his hand to catch whatever came through the air.
Slowly . . . . Petter opened his hand to see what Magne had thrown.

There. . . in the palm of his hand was Magne’s eye . . . staring at him.
And for the rest of his life . . . whenever he opens his hand for whatever reason . . . It may be to receive changes in the shop, to shake hand with someone, to fill his hands with water to wash his face . . . he will see Magne’s eye in the palm of his hand. . . staring at him.



Anonymous said...

I cant agree to the teacher's actions for not going to Magne's rescue... But neither can I disagree the actions the school had taken to make Magne stand up against his mobbers.

MrsJoseGoldbloom said...

I really despise bullies. I hope those kids had nightmares about that eye every day they tormented someone. BTW Happy Halloween Kirsten.

Kirsten N. Namskau said...

Happy Halloween to you too, Princess

Anonymous said...

Some teachers I had were as cowardly as the one you describe.

It seems that some children had powerful parents that could ruin or promote careers.

Bullies and mobbers deserve any payback they get.

curmudgeon said...

With any luck he'll see that eye the rest of his life.
I wonder how many times he dreamt about it?

Anonymous said...

I always thought I was the only child to ever have been placed into a rubbish bin (by my uncle when I was five years old). I also lived with him, mother and grandmother in a house. Mother threw him out a number of times because he would torment me with cruel games like throwing coins at my head or eating chocolates in front of me and not giving me any. He would always be grabbing at my penis and laugh when I cringed. I'm surprised I grew up normal.

Anonymous said...

Lexcen: I'm sorry you had to go through such things. I hate people who maltreat others that way.

infinitesimal said...

in these days in the USA
children who are mobbed daily and whose supervisors say "What i have not seen, i cannot report on"
well, these kids, usually 14 and 15 year olds
will take their father's gun, and kill their tormentors.

some say it is violence in movies and TV and video games

others say that it is a mental defect, or poor nutrition leading to soft brains

usually people are shocked and cannot wait to put the boys into jail for grownups where they can be raped for the rest of their lives.

Usually the boys plan to kill themselves last after taking the gun to school

But you know what Kristen?

in 12 years time, and it happens over and over again
NOT ONE SCHOOL takes time to listen to the boys who try to complain to the supervisors.

They ALWAYS get told, "That's the way life is"

It never fails to make me cry.
I think you understand why.