MUDJIMBA poet and writer Harry Donnelly shares his thoughts on the recent death of Mullumbimby student Jai Morcom who died after a fight at his school.
He's 15 - packs his bag for another day at school,
a bright and popular student, his demeanour - calm and cool.
He's small in build, a target for a bully and a fight,
parents starkly unaware he'll not be coming home tonight.
And so it is, Australia, lucky country - modern day,
not the back blocks of Manhattan or the Bronx of yesterday.
I could never comprehend the mob mentality of a gang,
who do the things they do quite simply just because they can.
Why? To feed their insecurity or desperation to belong,
or the need to feel the power over others - right or wrong.
They recruit the weak to follow, for some misled schoolyard fame,
a death occurs and, instantly, it becomes a different game.
Lives are ruined forever, in a thousand gruesome ways,
gang members stare reality through their own bewildered gaze.
Too late of course to opt out of the comfort of the gang,
each life is changed forever, from the moment recess rang.
And it's not a gender problem - girl's behaving now, the same,
heads brutally kicked for impact and some on-screen internet fame.
Each night another coma - every day, another death,
parents forced to make decisions on their own child's final breath.
In this world of drugs and internet where control is rarely found,
from road rage to corruption, home is still the training ground.
From the lounge room, through to politics, what more can we all expect,
'til we show through our examples the true meaning of respect.
• Harry can be heard on Fridays around the 7.30am news on John Stokes' morning program on ABC Coast FM
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