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Saturday, November 27, 2010

On Bullying

Todd Fischer, Nov. 23rd, 2007

Truly there is no lower form of life than the bully.

From the domineering tyrant on a schoolyard playground to the great evil, Hitler himself, bullies show every day that they are a pox on the rest of society.

I was bullied at school from grades three to grade eleven. I can still remember the first incident on the schoolyard at E. A. Fairmen Public School, when an older student ran up, grabbed my favourite baseball cap off my head and threw it in a puddle. From that time on the hat smelled like fish, and I was a walking mark.

I was different from most other students. Quiet, shy, reading a few grades beyond my own, wearing glasses. To a bully, anything that is different is frightening, and to assuage their own fear they attack. For years I withstood being chased around the school, having my ears flicked in the halls, being made fun off, taunted, ostracized. Luckily, I was strong enough to withstand this torment. I outlived my bullies, and in Grade 12 started physically fighting back. They bullying soon stopped when a punch in the gut followed their smart-ass remark.

I was lucky. Some victims of bullying aren’t so lucky.

I just read in the paper about Shaquille Wisdom, a thirteen year old student in Ajax who was betrayed by his best friend. Told in confidence by Shaquille that he was gay, his friend told others, and soon Shaquille found himself the victim of bullying both at home, and via email and the internet. To escape this never ending torture, Shaquille hung himself from the railing in his home, his body found by his sister, who is now traumatized.

I hope the bullies are happy with themselves. They succeeded in causing pain, so much pain that they ended a life and destroyed several others. They saw someone different, attacked, and killed. Knowing bullies as intimately as I do, they probably ARE happy.

These bullies—the hyenas of humanity—should, if identified, be charged with manslaughter. Words have consequences. Actions have consequences. Everyone—contrary to the world’s current belief—is accountable for their actions and should be held accountable for them.

The taunters, the shovers, the laughers, the haters. Running in their packs because alone they are nothing. Cowards, all of them. Put them up against the wall.

If anyone who reads this is a victim of bullying—and this applies not just to children, many adults are bullied at their jobs, or even in their homes—remember that you are strong. Don’t let the bullies win. Don’t let them grind you down. I suffered on my own, and was lucky to get out of it. I didn’t have to be alone, and neither do you. It will be difficult, but talk to someone. Your parents, your spouse, a good and trusted friend, your doctor, your religious teacher. Or call a support line, like Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868).

There are people that care. You are loved.

As for the bullies, they can all burn in the lowest bowels of hell.

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