Category Archives: bullying

Suicide and tougher bullying laws

(originally posted 23 May 2012)

A couple days ago an article from the Sarnia Observer was sent to me.  Since then I received a couple more stories from the same community.  Rightfully so, parents and students demonstrated at the education centre office and city hall.  As the story goes, in the past two years the community has lost 10 children/youth to suicide as a result of unaddressed bullying.  I read these articles and feel the frustration this community is feeling; so I submitted my thoughts.

In Ontario we already have a lot of legislation in place.  What we are missing is effective and efficient enforcement of these laws, policies, etc and any means of accountability when these are not enforced.  While we sit back, protest and wait for new laws (bill 13 & 14 for example) our children are killing themselves.  When we will realize, if we want change; we must be that change.  You can’t legislate for someone to protect another.  Either they get it and they do it or they don’t.  We do not have to buy into all the rhetoric that says ‘the system’ is better than the individual.  I am not saying for a single moment that we not advocate for our children, but we must also teach our children to advocate for themselves.  Generally speaking a child that feels worthy is less likely to bully or be bullied.  No school or law can inspire self worth that starts with the people who genuinely care about another.  Parents don’t be bullied into thinking you’re not good enough.  99% of what children want and need…your time, love, encouragement and acceptance.  If your child isn’t important to you, they will ask, “Who am I important too; who cares about me?”  And soon they won’t care about them self or anyone or anything…they’ll feel as though they have nothing to lose.  Celebrate life with your child everyday they are with you……

Thoughts on Bully, the Movie

(originally posted 11 May 2012)

Ok….so I went to see the movie “Bully“. Sadly both times I was there; the theatre was quite empty.

I would like to follow up with the children and their families who were in the documentary to see if things have improved for their children and how? If not, what steps, if any have been taken? I’m also curious to learn what each of these communities and their education, police, health care, etc have done to improve the safety of ALL their children.

It’s strange huh? I wonder how many of our local educators went to see this movie. After all “The Hunger Games”, was a field trip for many of our Ontario elementary and secondary schools. I guess there is more value in exposing children/youth to a movie that depicts killing each other to win their right to survive…really looking at Bullying. Oh sorry the school permission form for this trip says “Learning Expectations for the trip: students will be viewing the film adaption of the novel ‘The Hunger Games’.” Not that either of my children who ‘had’ to attend this field trip had the “The Hunger Games” as a class novel study.

I wonder how they discussed the ‘film adaptation of the novel’ against the book if many of the children never read it. I’m guessing there wasn’t much ‘discussing’ going on in most of those classrooms either – at least of any academic value.  Oh well, our Ontario academic education ratings are so high, our children certainly can afford to have their teachers ‘kill’ 3 hours of their classroom learning time sitting in a movie theatre several times a year/semester.

Now, had they gone to see “Bully”, I’m imagine there would have been lots of opportunity for meaningful discussion. Even if the discussion wasn’t academic, it certainly would be more in tune with what is happening in their class, their school their day-to-day lives then “The Hunger Games” is. Both the adults and students might have been able to see/learn what BULLYING is and the role everyone plays in either enabling or disabling it.

Responsible use of technology in schools provides real life learning opportunities.  However, I’ve always had a problem with my children watching movies in class; especially when the movie choice of the teacher offers NO education value!

Your thoughts…..

What’s New?

(originally posted 4 April 2012)

….Artistically Speaking Out Against Bullying is NEW!

Welcome to the amazing and wonderful world of Artistically Speaking Out Against Bullying (ASOAB). ASOAB is designed to help children and youth ‘in the meantime’ while they are waiting for ‘it to get better’!

But that’s not all. Because bullying happens to everyone at any age, ASOAB offers many art based programs for all ages to explore. As you rediscover what makes you unique, we want you to find value in who YOU are, so you feel empowered to make the choices you want to in order to be your best self.

So, in addition to a variety of art programs, we offer interactive supports for you while you address bullying in your workplace and/or your child’s school.

Together we will look at:

  • Current legislation, polices, etc;
  • Your rights and responsibilities; and
  • Your options

As well, we provide a confidential and unique coaching style that works with you.  By exploring who you are today; you build self-acceptance. If you decide you may want to make changes, we can explore those options which work on building self-discipline. Knowing you have choices ~ engages YOU. Acting on them…is always your decision. Making decisions right for you builds your self-confidence so you feel empowered to continue to make better self/life choices.

ASOAB is in the middle of a very exciting time right now.  So…. stay tuned!