Saturday, November 21, 2009

Canada: Where the Bullied are Forgotten

Well Bullying Awareness Week is over and as usual it didn't get the coverage it deserves. I checked Google News every night when I came home from work, but I was always disappointed.

Just a couple of stories in small regional papers, and nothing on the blogosphere.

I had almost given up when something amazing happened.The mighty CBC National News carried a story on bullying in Canada.

I found it hard to watch.The little redhead with his Spiderman toy. The small boy getting snow rubbed in his face.The girl with cerebral palsy who was tripped by the bullies. That kind of cruelty makes me wild with anger.

But I also practically wept with joy, because hopefully now more Canadians will understand that they live in a country with one of the worst bullying records in the world.

Canada is one of the developed world’s worst offenders when it comes to bullying, according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) survey on Health Behaviours of School-Aged Children. The survey, which is based on children’s reports of bullying and victimization, ranked Canada 36th worst out of 40 developed countries for bullying.

In Canadian schools bullying happens every 7.5 minutes in the playground and every 25 minutes in the classroom (Craig and Pepler, 1997). “The human impact of bullying and interpersonal violence is heartbreaking. Children who are victimized can be emotionally scarred for life...”

One of the few developed countries with no national anti-bullying strategy. Where one of the few national organizations could be about to be crippled by a lack of federal funding.

Despite these dismal statistics, organizations like PREVNet that work to promote positive relationships and combat bullying among Canadian kids are about to run out of federal funding with no new funding in sight, despite their being linked with 62 expert researchers from 27 Canadian universities, and 49 national organizations.

Because the SoCons in the PMO don't want children to be taught that homophobia is bad. And of course, because those Harper Cons are the foulest gang of political bullies this country has ever seen.

And so many Canadians just don't care.

Oh well. Can you believe that someone would trip a girl with cerebral palsy? Did you see the helpless look on the face of that small bullied boy wiping the snow off his face?

When I next feel like giving up I'll remember THEM.

Those poor children. Those cruel bullies. Those bastard Cons.

Is this really happening in Canada?

What a mad world...

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