Saturday, December 03, 2011

Has the War on Bullying Finally Begun?

It's taken a lot of dead Canadian kids. Kids like Marjorie Raymond.

“I have a hard time leaving this world,” she wrote her suicide letter, “but I think it will be for a better world.”

But it looks as if the Great War on Bullying has finally begun. 

McGuinty said school boards must intervene when bullying has taken place and it has to be law.

“We are going to require our school boards to take concrete steps when it comes to preventing bullying in the first instance, to intervening where bullying is found to have taken place and to ensure there are progressive consequences all the way up to and including expulsion.”

I could argue about the details. I might suggest that bullies need to be punished and treated. Because expelling them only displaces the problem. And allows them to turn their violence on other helpless victims.

I could get angry over the failure to tell the homophobic bigots in the province's Catholic School system, to get with it, or get defunded.

To be made nameless is not a small thing. It is to be told that some shame is associated with who you are. The clubs can exist but, depending on how the Catholic schools react, perhaps only in the closet, a place of shame.

But not tonight. Tonight I'm just glad that some politicians are finally taking bullying seriously. Because we'll never build a kinder,gentler, more human world until we make bullying a crime.

You know this weekend this blog is celebrating its sixth birthday. I started it to fight bullies, from the ones in the schoolyards, to the ones on Parliament Hill. For a long, long, time I thought that nothing would ever happen. I was very, very, discouraged. But now it finally has, and this little blog couldn't get a better birthday present. 

The great thing is this war on bullying was started by Canadian kids themselves.

Who took to the streets with their handmade signs, or challenged bigot schoolboards, or sent petitions to the politicians.

The sad thing is it took the deaths of all these Canadian kids, in less than THREE months, to get those politicians to act...

And that although they will never know it, one can now say that these poor kids died, so that others might live.

In her suicide note Marjorie Raymond wrote this to try to console the mother she loved:

"You are the best mother in the world. ....I'll now be your guardian angel in a better place."

And now, in a way, for all those other kids, she really is one.

Oh yeah. Celebrate the beginning of the Great War on Bullying.

But never forget the murderous indifference, and those left behind, whose pain will go on forever....

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