(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……