Let’s stand up to bullying. Children want to feel safe at school. Everyone deserves to be safe and respected.
Bullying is never okay and it happens far too often. Many people allow themselves and decide to belittle, denigrate and ridicule others, which causes enormous damage to the victims of this verbal and/or physical bullying.
The consequences of such acts and remarks are horrendous and seriously affect the self-confidence, well-being and living conditions of the victims.
Violence, whether orally propagated or not, should never be trivialized and tolerated. Unfortunately, this is often the case in society, in schools and workplaces, among others, and marginalized people are more vulnerable to this bullying.
We all have a role to play in these vicious circles that are taking place around us in different environments. To witness these behaviours without reacting when we are not ourselves victims places us as complicit in this violence. We must intervene to educate as many people as possible, unless our own safety is at stake, to prevent intimidation from continuing in many people’s lives. We must teach children and adolescents the openness to others and the respect of all. We must sensitize adults to the heavy consequences of their daily remarks, and their participation, conscious or not, in systemic oppression. Bullying is a serious matter. If you witness bullying, please act! If ever you witness someone being harmed or looks in distress do not hesitate to get up and help. Tell the bully to stop his behaviour and go denounce this person. Just one small act of caring can sometimes make all the difference in the world.
Sometimes we say to ourselves, “Well, he just told her he was stupid,” but do you know if this is the first time or the hundredth time that person has done this? Do not take chances and act. Decent people cannot be sheep in the face of these kinds of attacks, they must stand up and bring attackers to justice.
What a horrible feeling, to be attacked and feel alone.
As a parent, the idea that my child could commit suicide is terrifying. Prevention and awareness are not enough. It takes firm laws criminalizing bullying with harsh penalties.
A 15-year-old took his own life. According to his family, intimidation over several years has undermined the child’s morale. His parents, completely devasted, consider that it is the intimidation that killed their son.
A suicide pact was signed by 62 kids in a Montreal private high school. Although most children said it was a prank after being caught, it doesn’t mean that some of the students who signed weren’t serious. Suicide is permanent. It’s an act of desperation. It’s not something to joke about.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada ( PHAC ), approximately 10 people die of suicide each day in Canada. It’s the 2nd leading cause of death for those aged 10 to 19 years old.
If you are bullied, verbally and/or physically abusive, be aware that you are not responsible for the words and actions others are making towards you. You are wonderful people and shine a thousand times more than all those who decide to act badly to belittle you. You do not deserve to be ridiculed, in any case, and you have the right to seek help and/or talk about it so you do not have to live through these difficult situations in solitude.
If you are thinking about suicide, please give one or both of these association a call:
- Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: 1-833-456-4566
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6668
- Prévention Suicide Laval: 450-629-2911 ou 1-866-APPELLE
Everyone is worth something and no one deserves to live with violence and denigration, no matter the context.