I walk to the end of my driveway most mornings and pick up the Globe & Mail. Monday October 15 the headlines read “How bullies get away with it”. Tuesday reads “McGuinty’s resignation shocks Ontario”, but flip 3 pages and there it is again, the story of Amanda Todd, the 15 year old student that ended her life last week after being tormented relentlessly for months by her schoolmates. Amanda Todd is now among the name’s of Aermis Kolke, a 13 year from Saskatchewan, 11 year old Mitchell Wilson from Pickering and 15 year old Marjorie Raymond from Quebec. All these children committed suicide in the last year and a half after being pushed to the limits by bullying.
I am sad to be sure, but I am even more angry. After such a tragedy I see the same things happening time after time. There are memorials and people paying tributes to the victims, there are discussions among local groups and within governments at all levels about what needs to be done, but most of all there are tears, tears shed by all those who knew her or knew of her. There is hugging and embracing by all those who were friends and surrounded this young person who is now gone. The photo in today’s Globe shows this very emotion as youth from the area show signs of disbelief as they here of the news. Is all this response too late? What I mean is, was anyone aware of what was going on, did anyone know that Amanda was being picked on or bullied? Did anyone know who was bullying her or know someone who knew someone who was bullying her? Sadly we all know the answer to this question and this is what angers me.
I have three school aged children and on several occasions I have asked them if they ever see bullying going on at school or near the school? Then I ask them a harder question and it is this. Do you ever look for bullying going on around you. Not only is it necessary for us to report or intervene when we witness bullying but more importantly we need to look out for bullying. It is the responsibility of students, teachers and supervisors at schools to be on the lookout for this and when it’s off school property it’s the responsibility of everyone to be on the lookout for bullying. Until those at the front lines get involved bullying and the terrible consequences of bullying will continue.
Yes, I was bullied as a child………..but I’m one of the lucky ones, I survived.
This is the first posting of what I hope will be an on going thing. I will call it my “Unrelated to Business Blog” I will try to publish something at least once a month. Also, please look for our newly designed Website to be launched sometime in December.