News Views: Help stop bullies
A group of Grade 7 boys stands on the school yard at recess. One who is newer to the school knocks a smaller boy to the ground, acting as if he didn’t see him standing there. The group around them laughs. So the newer boys does it again at lunch, garnering more laughs. Acceptance, he thinks.
Bullying can start just like that and grow into something much worse, much more hurtful, if no one speaks up.
Today is Anti-Bullying Day in Canada. Also called Pink Shirt Day, it started four years ago to build communities that foster respect, fairness, equity and compassion.
But school yards aren’t always like that. Boys and girls can be mean, and they won’t stop after the final bell of the day, going online, texting each other, spreading their hate. And whether or not they recognize bullying behaviour, some rather join in or say nothing rather than help stop it for fear of being ostracized next.
They don’t want to feel alone.
But that is exactly how the victims of bullying feel, silent tears rolling down their cheeks under blankets before sleep.
Bullying hurts, on the inside most. So much so that some children choose to end their own lives, like Hamed Nastoh, who committed suicide by jumping off the Patullo Bridge in 2000.
Bullying can be stopped.
Whether it’s happening to you or someone you know, tell someone –your parents, a teacher, a supervisor or principal. They will intervene.
Refuse to go along with bullying or harassment.
Keeping quiet is not the answer. It won’t make the pain go away.
Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and to feel safe, at school or work, in the community.
Help stop bullying. Say something.
– The News