Amanda Todd’s recent suicide struck home for me. Then the utlimate in cowardly, vile bullying took place – apparently other students and classmates vilified her after her death. I say “apparently” because police have not yet tracked down who made the posts – but regardless of who made them, they deserve the harshest punishment available – and our laws badly need strengthing in this area.
Also police need expanded powers, under proper control of course, to use every means available – electronic and otherwise – to track these people down. The BCCLA and similar groups always seem to forget the victims – they worry more about protecting the guilty than ensuring they don’t EVER repeat their offences. Put your focus where it belongs for once! Then our judges have to have the guts, courage and some reasonable level of sanity and common-sense, to impose first punishment – and later some rehabilitation – but punishment comes first.
Amanda is nor the first, and unfortunately she will not be the last. Why? Because not all parents care about what their children are doing. Not all parents bother to teach their children right from wrong. Not all schools (teachers, principals, staff – everyone) watch for signs of bullying and deal HARSHLY and SEVERELY with the bullies involved. Not all parents bother to learn about bullying – or if their child is either a bully or a victim until it is too late. Not all parents supervise everything their children do on-line – on the web, twitter, social media, flash-mobs, etc. Not all parents bother to learn about cyber-bullying.
Not all law enforcement and other first-responders have been trained to identify signs of bullying – either victim or perpetrator. Not all medical people have been trained to identify bullying and the resulting physical and mental damage and eventual destruction, victims will face.
Politicians can’t agree on the time of day or the shape of the table to use for a meeting – but can’t – for ONCE – they stop petty party-politics and do something for victims of bullying? Can’t they for once deal forcefully with those who bully others?
Political will is lacking – or rather the will to deal with the problem outside petty politics is lacking. Everyone wants to be seen as the champion but no-one bothers to act. Committees don’t solve problems. Inquiries don’t solve problems. Studies don’t solve problems – and neither do working groups or any other such actions.
This needs to the part of ALL school curriculums starting in elementary school – regardless of religion, private or public schools. There are bullies of every race, colour, creed, religion, faith, political stripe and sex. There also needs to be consistency in dealing with bullies. Leaving it up to each organisation or school or school district to set their own “remedies” is not the answer. And regardless of legislation, it is time to “name names” for many reasons, not the least of which is to ensure there are consequences for actions and that potential victims can be protected. Let’s refocus our energies on victims and rehabilitate the offenders second.
The effects of bullying last the rest of your life – they affect your personal life, your relationships, your career – and they do impact on both mental and physical well-being. A victim never recovers – just as the victims of child-abuse, pedophilia, etc. – NEVER completely recover. They are changed people – forever. I know first hand – I was bullied for 5 years in junior and senior high school – and it affects me today.