In a week of graphic, heart-wrenching and deplorable violence, the aftermath is just as telling as the incidents themselves.
It's nowhere near the magnitude nor ferocity of New Zealand's horror, but a schoolyard fight in Bega that also came to light on Friday had everyone once again wondering what leads people to attack each other (let alone those who film that violence and share it on social media).
I don't propose to know or even suggest what could have been behind Friday's schoolyard attack. Whether bullying or retaliation, it's not for us to know nor highlight. That's a matter for school welfare bodies, the families of those involved, and likely the police.
For those who take issue with us even writing about it, this is not a matter that should be kept quiet nor hidden behind locked gates. It's up to us as a community to look at possible solutions to violence and hatred in our community.
To that end, who in their right adult mind would think it's appropriate to advocate violence as a means to end violence? But that's exactly what several commenters suggested following the weekend's revelations.
"I'll knock some sense into the little [expletive]". "Take their pants down and give them a spanking".
The social media thread was just as worrying as the incident itself in some respects. Can we honestly recommend violence or public humiliation directed at children as a way to deal with their behaviour? What would this teach our kids, other than violence is an acceptable response to actions of which we don't approve?
Then again, who can our children look up to in an increasingly divided community fostered by social media-fuelled hate speech (free speech?) and politicians advocating against inclusion and mutual understanding. One so-called bastion of Australian democracy thought an appropriate response to being egged was to smack the kid to the ground for five other big blokes to jump on. There's no excuse for the egg attack, but the heavy-handed retaliation is simply deplorable.
Is it a pipedream to think my teaching of my two young children that there is never an excuse for violence should be a universal standard? Are we too ingrained in an "us versus them" mentality to retreat from that brink? Or to paraphrase the words of a political leader we can only dream of having in our own country, "us versus not us".