This was the fourth Christmas with Amanda gone. It feels just like the first one with the deep sighs and sadness. I personally am not feeling that it gets easier with each year going by because the loss is still there. It's not about forgetting or getting over it. It's about missing someone you loved. Yes certainly, we have other family that we love and care about. And we don't love them any less. My experiences this Christmas season have been phenomenal for giving back. Some on my own and some with Amanda's legacy.
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
Although school-based bullying in children and youth has achieved much attention over the years, adults bully all the time and in surprising places. Universities, hospitals, schools, corporations, and even the police force are all settings where the real, common, and shockingly increasing problem of workplace bullying is occurring.
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.
I think the big win is that Prentice has shifted everyone's focus away from an unproductive and damaging debate to something far more important: creating an education system that is a genuinely "welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment". He doesn't want the hostility of the gay/anti-gay debate the adults are having to filter down to the children, where it has already caused real and tragic harm.
Her eyes say it all: "You disgusting little piece of garbage -- who cares what you have to say, anyway?" He crumbles into a mess of tears and sobs, seemingly brokenhearted that he has just been publicly rejected. This was the fourth instance of bullying that I was privy to today. What stood out to me in each of the four incidents was who was doing the bullying: girls.
I'm writing you in hopes that you can step in and stop these three from causing further harm. Is there a group or organization or caucus, say, that you could refer this matter to and come up with a mechanism for stopping these bullies? I'd really appreciate any help you could provide as I'm now even scared to go to my mailbox for fear of what the next letter from the government might bring. Some of my fellow victims are afraid these bullies are going to get meaner and meaner and de-index our pensions or even cut them back. Some are even saying they're going to take away our mailboxes but I can't believe they'd be that cruel.
Unlike most emotional injuries, the core and source of the pain never changes at all -- I can go right back to December 5, 2006 literally in a heartbeat. I try not to do that, and therein lies one of the fundamental truths of the matter. Even I thought that by now I'd be free of the worst effects of my experience, I've come to realize that that sort of wishful thinking doesn't ring true.
"My daughter is 11 years old.The boys and the girls at school call her names that shouldn't even exist. They tell her she's ugly, that her face is like a pancake smothered in poop. They have created a 'We hate Brittany' club. I tell myself all the time -- 'this has to stop. And it has to stop now. Today.' But it never does."
Since Manitoba's religious schools receive over 50 per cent of their funding from the province, they are all being mandated to comply with the proposed legislation: Bill 18 -- required to implement an anti-bullying strategy that includes gay-straight alliances. Our rights cannot exist in a vacuum, isolated from the reality around them. Rights engage with other rights. Not only does our Charter have a built-in provision to permit the limiting of rights in certain situations, but also, the transactional nature of our public lives dictates that different rights will come into contact other rights. Those who oppose Bill 18 should read the Charter in its entirety; it doesn't stop at freedom of religion, nor is there a hierarchy of rights.
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.