I began my anti-bullying initiative in mind in late-2012 for one reason: to tell the world about a boy named Jamie Hubley and how bullying-related deaths like his are preventable. I have spoken in four provinces to date and am now confirmed to speak in six more this coming school year. I have been asked to present to over 500 schools across the Canada and the United States and now turn to you for help.
Be willing to be vulnerable, befriend your fears, and remember that this situation is happening for you, not to you. It's helping you step out of victim into mastery of yourself. It's helping you expand even more into who you are.
There is no age limit on bullying. Winston Churchill wrote: "You have enemies? Good. That means you have stood up for something in your life." Bullies don't stand up for anything. They tear down. They covet. They do that to fill their empty spaces while those who are bullied are seeking something and often that something is different from the every day.
Cyberspace is the 2013 version of the playground, and with it comes potential for great danger, as its reach is massively unlimited. Here's what parents can do to safeguard their children.
These are the folks that believe that anyone that they are paying can pretty much be treated as they see fit if they expect to be paid. Being paid by them can be a trick in and of itself. These are the most disrespectful and most unpleasant to work with. These are the bullies.
when I look back on my own experience as a child and pre-teen who was bullied after moving here from another country, it occurs to me that the adults in my life -- even those who loved me -- played a part in the bullying too, whether subtly or directly.
The city council passed an ordinance which could ticket parents and fine them more than $100 if their children are repeatedly bullying others.
It only takes one. Just one friend, that is, to reduce a child's chances of being bullied, and, if he is bullied, of developing depression as a result.
Is it odd that we have gone from being a nation that respects the impartiality of the press to one in which government has no qualms about personally bashing senior journalists when they deliver unfavorable news? Government leaders take note. You serve as an example.
The common denominator of all types of bullying is a lack, or erosion, of empathy. Nurturing empathy, a potential that is present in almost all children, is therefore at the heart of interventions to prevent bullying.
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.