13-years-old: I get up to get some paper from the cubbies in the front of the classroom and a boy follows me. He loudly asks me why Indian girls are so hairy. I stare at him, shocked, wanting to disappear. He presses on, telling me all brown girls are unattractive and he's only ever met one girl hairier than me. He tells me her name, as though I'd know her. I turn around and ignore him until he goes away. The whole class is quiet -- no one sticks up for me. I learn what it's like to hate your skin. Really, really hate it.
My comments on Donald have nothing to do with his political aspirations. It has to do with the damage that a personality like Donald's brings to the workplace. Bullies don't go away. Donald Trump's attack on Rosie O'Donnell last night came out of the blue. There was no reason for him to say what he said, yet he did.
I am so excited to share the news that I am a now Youth Ambassador for Bystander Revolution! Bystander Revolution is an anti-bullying organization founded in April 2014 with a mission to inspire and motivate people to take the power out of bullying with simple acts of kindness, courage, and inclusion
Ten-year-old Hannah used to love going to school but now the Ontario fourth grader is too scared to return and her mother Nicola can't blame her. On Monday, Hannah experienced the second of two incidents of bullying with a disturbingly sexual tone. Hannah's mother spoke to the school principal, and although the boy admitted to the incident, as far as she knows no further action was taken by the school. As of Wednesday, Nicola's calls to the superintendent and her school trustee had not been returned, and the principal did not respond to a request for comment for this post.
I was walking down the hall at school after mass, when I felt a hard smack in the back of my head. It wasn't unexpected. Kids had been calling me names like "stupid retard," poking, and threatening me for weeks before it happened. But after it happened I was still in shock. Unfortunately, since I was blindsided, I still have no idea who did it. Nobody who walked down the hall with me that day will speak up and help identify the bully. I'm not going to fight back the way the bullies want me to. Instead, I'm going to speak up and not suffer in silence.
I find it ironic that as we continue the battle against bullying in schools and amongst the A-list, it is in that very same cultural sphere that people use their cause as their weapon. Although I often disagree with comments made in the media, I more firmly believe that it isn't my place to call someone out for their opinion.
The bad news is we perceive bullying to be more prolific than it was when we were young. The good news is we seem to be more aware and less tolerant of its destructive effects. We're split on how effectively our schools are dealing with the problem, to be sure. But the conversations are more open; the subject less beguiling.
I believe that bullying is an addiction. We use addictive behaviours to mask what we feel --generally about our own low self-esteem and dissatisfaction about our lives. Anything can become an addiction if we are using it for that purpose: drugs, alcohol, food, TV, smoking, gambling, excessive spending, gaming, sex, co-dependency in relationships -- the list goes on and on.
I decided it was time to take action. I started seeing a counselour and began the difficult task of dealing with the beliefs and feelings I had built up as a result of the bullying. My counselour helped me identify links between the trauma I had endured and the choices I had made as an adult. Learning about these patterns blew my mind.
In recent years, some parents might have found themselves wondering: "What is the link between bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide?" "Is bullying worse than when I was a kid?" "What can I do to keep my kid safe?" For many parents, it's easy to slide into worry-mode. But it's important for parents to be mindful of how they are reacting to stories they are hearing in the media or within the community.
Dear Teacher: You called after me today. I was frustrated. Angry. Tired and lonely. And I didn't want to hear someone tell me for the bazillionth time all that I had done wrong. Tell me how I had been a bully. A bad boy. The truth is: I know. I know I am a bully. I have a hard time making friends because I'm different. But you took the time.