When someone gets hurt. Kids bullying others in schools often say they didn’t mean it, it was only a joke. It can be the excuse for cruelty or thoughtlessness – blaming the victim for their sensitivity. The hospital nurse who took the hoax call from Australian radio presenters pretending to be members of the Royal Family asking about Kate’s welfare has committed suicide. Reports say she was an excellent nurse and that she had two children. it isn’t just one person that has been affected by this, the ripples spread far and wide and for some will continue for a life-time. On the face of it people were only trying to have a laugh and as pranks go this was fairly innocuous – but did anyone stop for a second to think about what this might mean for this ordinary person going about their daily work? Did anyone care? I expect they do now.
When is a joke not a joke?
About the Author: Sue Roffey
Dr Sue Roffey FRSA FBPsS is a psychologist, academic, author, activist and speaker. She holds posts as Honorary Associate Professor at University College, London and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Western Sydney University, and also affiliated to the Wellbeing Institute at Cambridge University. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools, and was a member of the Editorial Board of Educational and Child Psychology.