Is It Bullying Awareness Week Or Not?Saturday November 19, 2011 - Author: NightStorm -
We are now day 7 into Bullying Awareness Week – a vision first started 10 years ago by a teacher in Calgary by the name of Bill Belset after a series of terrible school shootings took place (and were later linked to childhood bullying). Over the last decade, his message of bringing an end to bullying has spanned the entire globe, bringing in support and events all over the World. 1 week dedicated to bringing attention to something horrible… doesn’t sound like much, does it? And yet while news media all over the planet announce this week as the official Bullying Awareness Week (it even has its own Hashtag, #BAW2011, on Twitter), I have not yet seen a single News outlet in BC announce it, or even mention it. Are the news stations so oblivious to the fact that bullying takes place in our Province, the same as everywhere else? Are they blind to the problems that kids face? or are they just brainwashed into thinking that Occupy Vancouver is a more important issue? Maybe a bunch of people living in tents at the art gallery, drinking and doing drugs in public while they declare that they no longer recognize the authority of the police and fire department when it suits their purposes (right up until someone overdoses on-site) are more newsworthy than kids killing themselves to escape the torment they are put through at school and in their neighbourhoods. Oh sure, a bullying victim kills themselves and the news jumps on it for a few days, crying about how if only something could have been done, or if only we knew sooner, or how can bullying be allowed to get to this point.And then nothing. Right back to the Occupies, or Kardashians, or what celebrity got caught in a hot tub with someone that’s obviously not his wife.
I am by far not a major person in the Social Media scene. I prefer to be behind the scenes, making sure that our sites are running well, and watching other people talk. But occasionally I want to get a message out. I have 105 followers on Twitter. For the past two weeks, I have asked numerous times that people pass the word along about this week, and about a specific bullying case that I am directly involved in. Of that 105 people, only 8 people actually helped to spread that word. A special thanks to Shawn Doyle and Patrick Gallagher for doing what they can to help, you two are awesome. On Facebook, I have 153 “friends”. How many there have helped to spread the message? 5. Mind you, the past 2 months have helped me to see how many of those 153 people are actually friends.
How desensitized are people that they can’t send 1 single message over the course of an entire year to bring attention to the problem of bullying? Are they too busy with their Farmville’s and Youtube spamming and 50,000 posts about your dog and how cute it is when said dog has a bowel movement (the number is exaggerated, the topic is not)? Maybe they just buy into the saying that bullying is just a part of growing up. Yep, getting punched in the back of the head while walking to class is a requirement of growing up. So is standing in a hallway while someone holds your arms behind your back and two people take turns using you as a punching bag. Or sitting at your desk trying to actually focus on your work (a shocker while in School) while kids behind you occupy their time by throwing things at you all class long. All part of growing up, right? WRONG. Why is society so desensitized to bullying that they are ready to jump up and actively support it, pushing the victims to the side in the process? Did you know that if a bully assaults a child, and that child fights back, the child that was bullied can face school suspension for defending himself? And not just suspension, but actual assault charges.
It’s time that the World got a reality check. Bullying is a real epidemic, more serious than any campers at a city park, and it’s time that people started taking a stand against it.
This is Bullying Awareness Week. Get aware, people. It’s real, it’s happening, and it needs to stop.
I put forward that 2012 should be Bullying Awareness Year. If the News Media can’t put out one story about it over the course of 7 days, maybe they’ll find a slow news day out of 365 that they can report on it. You know, a day when there’s not a bunch of campers complaining about major corporations while they wear their Nike shoes, and blog on their laptops, and take phone calls on their iPhones. A whole year to go on the radio or TV and say “Hey people, be kind to each other. Stop the bullying crap”.
Besides, if the Mayans are right, it might be the last year we can do it.
To quote a movie that had a typical 80’s plot-line, yet was ahead of it’s time with philosophy, “Be Excellent To Each Other”.
Some links you should check out: