Glen Canning, wrote a blog about his daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons, who hung herself because of the trauma of an alleged gang-rape by four classmates and the relentless bullying that followed. He wrote, "They say parents need to teach their children. Instead, it was Rehtaeh who was my teacher." But here's the thing: Parents do need to teach their children, and they are not doing it. Rehtaeh Parsons' death arrives on the horrific heels of the Steubenvile high-school rape case and Amanda Todd's suicide near Vancouver last fall after a sexually explicit photo led to the bullying that eventually drove her to take her own life, too. Our job is not just to feed and clothe our kids, but to shape them.
When we read about horrific acts of bullying, it is not enough to utter the mantra "What is wrong with kids today" and flip to the next page of the newspaper. We are not powerless to prevent these tragedies -- the solution starts with educating our children in a culture of compassion.
How do we distinguish the angst and insecurities felt by most teenagers from the pain resulting from bullying? Does all teasing between kids warrant prohibition, or is there room for some joking and fooling around? When things clearly go too far, who should intervene?
Looking back, I'm proud to say I never bullied anyone, but I'm a little regretful I didn't step in to try to help the kids who were being harassed. Of course, any young person reading this post knows this is much easier said than done. Helping out a kid who's being targeted could potentially turn the bullies onto you, right? But I encourage you to somehow find the courage to try.
As Molly Burke went blind, her world shrunk. Her best friends were supposed to walk her to her lunch period, but instead eight girls led her into a wooded area behind the school, snatched her crutches and smashed them against a tree. They laughed, taunted her, then left her in the woods, disoriented and scared.
No one deserves to be hurt or feel worthless, so today before you post that mean comment or bash that innocent individual in the hallway, put yourself in the victim's position and let there be one less person crying today because of bullying.
If your child is the troublemaker, it's important to help set him straight sooner rather than later -- ideally before he gets labeled and before he finds himself losing friends.
I worry whether our well meaning desire to combat bullying could lead to an even bigger problem by branding children who misbehave as criminals instead of using other methods to create a more civil and compassionate environment for our children.
Turns out that while sticks and stones can break your bones, words, too, can really hurt. In honor of proving that out-of-date childhood adage incorrect, the week of January 21st-25th has been set aside as No Name Calling Week.
We should not become accustomed to a world where the pattern of wielding power -- especially firepower -- has authenticated and legitimized their possession of it.
'Tis the season for gatherings and good cheer with friends and colleagues present and past. But do these gatherings provide you with memories of bad experiences with bad bosses, bullies perhaps?
Amanda Todd's suicide has stopped all parents, educators and politicians in their tracks. How could she have made such a public plea for help and still not be saved? What I do is write music with positive messages, to empower today's kids to be the best people they can be. In fact, through my kids pop act, Marlowe & the MiX, I've seen how one powerful song can change a child's mood, perspective and path.
According to research, as well as my own personal and professional experience, the key to a happy childhood is mentorship. Kids who have a positive role model in their lives are more likely to succeed academically and develop healthy lifestyles.
As a business executive, I routinely apply logic to solve issues, but when my child called to say she'd just been surrounded a school gang who verbally abused and bullied her, all logic goes out the window... I just wanted to protect her. Sadly bullying continues to be a pervasive issue that affects our kids' well-being.
We are a community of concerned citizens in British Columbia, including Amanda Todd's mother. As you may know, Amanda was contacted and blackmailed through Facebook by an adult predator who impersonated local teens to enter her circles of friends. We appeal to you as COO of Facebook, a mother, a visionary digital media leader, and member of the board of The Walt Disney Company, to lead industry-wide adoption of systemic security to block predators and abusers from accessing kids on major social media platforms, starting with Facebook itself.
This year we see one issue weighing on young people more than any other: bullying. After the event, we shared a moment with the mother of the B.C. teen who had taken her life to offer our condolences. The grieving mother told us she hoped her daughter's tragedy would prove a tipping point. We believe it has.