Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Canada and the Bully Nation
I don't know why Canada is such a bully nation. What I do know is that it infects our country like syphilis, from our Parliament, to our hockey rinks, to our schools.
A 15-year-old hockey player in Manitoba was forced to parade around the dressing room with water bottles tied to his genitals, the teen's parents alleged Wednesday in an effort to end hazing rituals in minor hockey.
But after the incident became public, the 15-year-old was forced to apologize to his teammates — some as old as 20 — and his coaches suggested that he take some time off from playing, the parents said.
A country where the bullied must apologize to their bullies.
What I also know is that while bullying hurts all kinds of kids, from shy ones, to chubby ones, to disabled kids like Mitchell Wilson.
LGBT kids are particularly vulnerable, and even gay teachers can't protect them.
Early in my teaching career, I recall confiding to an associate that I was gay; she implored me to keep it quiet, as students might not react well. If an adult can be held hostage to the bigotries of 14-year-olds, what hope is there of creating any sort of safe space for LGBT teens? Who, if not everyone, will protect our struggling youth?
And what I'm absolutely sure about is that in a country where 300 kids kill themselves each year we have run out of excuses.
It's time to hold bullies accountable, it's time to embarrass their parents, it's time to tell governments to do more to stop this slaughter of young Canadians.
It's time to break the silence...
You know I like the tone of Rick's message, but asking more gay people to come out won't stop bullying. Does he seriously suggest that John Baird could be anybody's role model?
We need to put the onus on straight people and governments to do more about the problem.
And while he's at it, he might point out that the CBC National News has never, to my knowledge, done ANYTHING about the homophobia in our schools, and didn't even bother to cover Jamie Hubley's death.
Oh yeah. Canada is a sick country.
And it's time to make it better...