Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Dead Kids and the Con Bullies

I'm glad to see that the sad story of Amanda Todd is getting so much attention all over the world.

An outpouring of grief from around the world continued on social media websites Saturday for Amanda Todd, the 15-year-old Port Coquitlam girl who ended her life Wednesday after years of bullying.

Even if some of it is so evil.

Cruel photos and comments littered her memorial pages, including one photo of a young woman hanging herself with a rope and another of a bottle of bleach and the caption “it’s to die for.”

I'm glad that so many are so outraged, and that so many are demanding that bullies be punished. 

But I can't help wondering why did it take so long? And will anything really come of it?

Because I've been writing about Canada's bully problem for six years, my list of dead Canadian kids is a long one.

Four in the last year alone...

Like 11-year-old Mitchell Wilson who was tormented by bullies because he was a gentle kid who suffered from muscular dystrophy. Or Jamie Hubley who killed himself after being bullied for being gay. Or 15-year-old Marjorie Raymond who told her mother in her suicide note that she was going to a place where the bullies couldn't hurt her:

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

And in all that time, and despite all those tragic deaths, Stephen Harper's Con government hasn't done ANYTHING to fight this horrible crime against children. 

In many other developed countries governments have national anti-bullying programs, and run anti-bullying ads on TV. But not the Cons. They spend millions on their War of 1812 or Porky Action Plan ads, but they don't have any money to try to save Canadian kids from being bullied to death.

For they will pose as crime fighters, they will send more kids to jail for smoking pot. But they will let the bullies get away with MURDER.

And why is this? Answer: because their rabid religious base hates anti-bullying programs, like Ontario's Bill 13, that would prevent them from tormenting gay kids.

And of course because Stephen Harper is a bully himself, and would turn our country into a JUNGLE.

Oh boy. Let's hope the sad death of Amanda Todd moves Canadians to take action, and forces even the Cons to do the right and decent thing. But in the meantime we'll just have to keep on fighting the problem with humble resources like this one and this one.

I'll keep writing posts about bullying that few are interested in reading. 

And Jamie Hubley, who believed that things would never get better. So he killed himself.

Will keep singing this sad song...

Merciful God of The Great White North.

Please save our poor children. Spare us from this bully regime.

Deliver us from this monster...

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  1. John B.4:14 AM

    In a culture that promotes as role models the likes of Donald Trump, the "Dragons' Den" guys and the back-stabbing publicity-seeking pukes who contend for success on "Survivor" and "Big Brother", is it any wonder that youth should seek shelter and find comfort through acceptance in group associations that define, devalue and debase the outsider?

    1. hi're absolutely right, bullying is a societal problem, and it infects this country from our schools, to the rinks of our national sport, to our Parliament. If we are ever going to get rid of this scourge, we are going to have to get everybody involved, and change our priorities. But of course that will take almost revolutionary change, and in the meantime I just want to see us save as many children as we can.

  2. Anonymous10:29 AM

    "Only the strong survive . . ." By the way; which special forces or commando units did junkyard dog baird and timorous stevie the super warrior serve with? I can't seem to locate their service records anywhere. Does anyone know which entire civilizations they single-handedly save by virtue of their superhuman martial skills? Just asking . . . ;-)

    1. hi anonymous...I've never heard of that fearless Con commando unit either. But of course that is their slogan. They believe in creating a jungle rather than a community, where bullies thrive, and the gentle and the decent are vanquished. Which is why if we are to create a kinder, gentler society, we must vanquish them...

  3. Anonymous11:15 AM

    I haven't watched the video because the story of Amanda Todd's bullying is so sad.

    A girl at my school was relentlessly bullied by a boy. I think of her from time to time and hope things turned out okay for her.

    Years later when my own child seemed more quiet than usual I thought to ask about bullying. Turned out a girl at school had been bullying her every day for a month and a half. (A month and a half before I picked up on it! I couldn't believe it because I spent time with my child talking one on one every day.)

    Because of what I had seen happen to this other girl, I took it very seriously. Got the principal involved right off (no talking to the teacher as obviously no point if this had not been dealt with already). We were ready to get the school board and lawyers involved if it had not been resolved.

    If there is any physical violence, in my opinion it's best to go ballistic as a parent and be prepared to press criminal charges if required.

    My heart goes out to Amanda's parents. It's hard to know what's really going on in our children's lives.

    1. hi tell you the truth I couldn't watch all of that video either. It was too painful, and I've seen it all before so many times. But good for you for recognizing that your child was being bullied, and taking action to stop it. I realize that it is hard for parents to know what's going on in their children's lives, but in these increasingly ugly times, it's vital that parents make a real effort. I believe education still is the best way to get rid of bullying, but I also think the justice system must get involved, if only to show the bullies that actions have consequences...

  4. Anonymous2:48 PM

    I think the world cried for Amanda. What that child endured was, horrible and criminal. Children often don't say anything to their parents. They are made to feel shame, by their bullies. Kids often feel shame because, they are bullied. They are too ashamed to tell their parents. They feel something is wrong with them, because they are bullied.

    Don't look to Harper. Boessenkool said, it was the smartest thing Harper ever did, He canceled the National Program for kids. Even other country's are fed up with Harper's bullying and his hissy fits, when he doesn't get his own way. Harper is a bully, filled with hate, spite and malice. Oppose the monster Harper? Watch out on that one. Harper isn't called spiteful Stevie for nothing.

    Where in hell are the parents, on their monster kid bullies? They all need to be, sent to boot camp. There should be enough Canadian war vets of to-day, to run one. There are empty military barraks in Canada. Let them try and get away with bullying at boot camp.

    1. hi I pointed out Amanda's tragic story is just the latest sad episode in a long litany of horror stories. And after every tragedy my hopes are raised that finally, at last, we will take this problem seriously and do more to fight it. So far I've been disappointed again and again, but I'm still hopeful that Amanda's story will be the straw that breaks the bullies backs.
      As for a bully boot camp...I think that might be a good idea. Not because I'm big on punishing kids, but shocking them into changing their behaviour, is sometimes necessary to get their attention. Of course it's also to necessary to recognize that bullies pick up things from their parents, and that many have been victimized themselves. But the boot camp would be staffed by psychiatrists and social workers, to give them the care they need. Leaving me and others to play the part of the REALLY mean drill instructors, because I'd definitely volunteer for that assignment... ;)

  5. Anonymous5:04 PM

    So now Harper is at fault for this too? So are you really going to say that if the NDP or the Liberals were in power today that this young girl would still be alive? Would all, some or any of these kids still be alive with a different a government? You really think kids would stop if Muclair wad in power? Simon even for you this is really grasping at straws.

    1. hi anonymous...I am NOT blaming Harper for Canada's bully problem. What I am saying is that even as the
      that problem gets worse, and more children die, they have done NOTHING to fight it.
      I don't believe that fighting bullying should be a partisan issue, I think it's a societal problem, and a complex one, that needs to be fought by ALL of us. But the government could lead by example, and so far they haven't...

    2. Anonymous3:55 AM

      What is this government or any government meant to do? More laws? Will that actually help? More programs? Will that? These things have always happened, the difference is now we are all hearing about them. There is "single" solution, only dealing with it case by case. And yes, I think you and your buddies are just looking for another excuse to Harper.

  6. Max Webster6:07 PM

    Today Harper is the man in charge and can do the right thing, make a strong public statement and introduce funding for anti-bullying campaigns, anything short of that is a failure to lead so let's judge Harper on his actions. I'm really not holding my breath

  7. hi Max...Stephen Harper and his gang never fail to use crime for political purposes. But somehow this crime doesn't bother them. If Harper made a serious effort to lead by example, I would be the first one to praise him, as hard as that might be.
    But as I said in my post he remains hostage to his intolerant base, and he is a bully, so like you I'm not holding my breath...

  8. Max Webster11:52 AM

    The ones that commit suicide should be viewed as the canary in the coalmine, this problem is huge and nobody in government seem to want to even try. I see this morning the hacker group Anonymous have "outed" the main bully, not sure that's the right answer but it might give others something to think about. Great blog Simon, happy to see someone cares.

  9. As much as I hate bullying and hate Stephene Harper, your pleas to "Spare us from this bully regime. Deliver us from this monster..." are really far fetched.

  10. hi Richard...I have a certain style, and you wouldn't be the first person to accuse me of being far fetched, or exaggeration. And no doubt I am on occasion guilty of both. However, I don't think I am exaggerating when I call Harper a bully, to me bullies are monsters, and I'd rather be accused of denouncing him too loudly, than not denouncing him at all...