Co-founder Travis Price and CKNW Oprhans’ Fund Executive Director Jen Schaeffers chat with Fiona about Pink Shirt Day.
Travis Price’s anti-bullying movement started in his Nova Scotia high school when he heard a grade 9 student was being bullied because he wore a pink shirt day to school. The next day he brought 75 pink tank tops for all his friends to wear and the movement has grown ever since.
CKNW Orphans’ Fund has raised over $650,000 since 2008 for anti-bullying programs around the province and on Wednesday February 26th, 2014 Travis and Jen are encouraging everyone to stand up against bullying by wearing PINK.
The federal government will fund the Red Cross training of 2,400 young people so they can deliver anti-bullying workshops in their communities, it was announced at the Ottawa school of a student who died after years of bullying.
Heritage Minister James Moore made the announcement Monday alongside the prime minister’s wife, Laureen Harper.
Ottawa Counc. Allan Hubley, the father of Jamie Hubley, the 15-year-old who committed suicide in the fall of 2011, was also present at the announcement at A.Y. Jackson Secondary School in suburban Kanata.
“If we do nothing, it will lead to the death of children,” Moore told reporters and students Monday.
Harper said: “This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart, as well as my husband’s.”
Jamie Hubley was a figure skater and the only openly gay student at A.Y. Jackson. He had been bullied throughout his school years.
His father said Jamie suffered from depression. The politician has also advocated for more front-line services for bullied children since his son’s death.
“He just wanted someone to love him. That’s all,” Allan Hubley told CBC News in 2011. “And what’s wrong with that? Why do people have to be cruel to our children when all they want to do is be loved?”
Hubley’s death was part of the impetus for a new provincial bill that has become law. It provides tougher sanctions for bullies and protection for teens that want to set up gay-heterosexual alliances in their schools.
At the time, some groups denounced the bill as infringing on religious freedoms.
Jamie Hubley had tried to start an anti-discrimination Rainbow Club at his school, but his father said the posters were torn down, and he was called vicious names in the hallways and online.
Canadian Federal Government Announce Anti-Bullying Programme
An Apache Junction middle school student could have permanent scars after he says his own classmates burned him on the bus.
His mother is worried about the emotional scars and is demanding the school protect her son from bullies.
Cactus Canyon Junior High School seventh-grader Reinhard Zorko, 13, has missed school the last couple of days. Instead, he’s hanging at his father’s auto shop because he’s afraid to go back.
“It’s hard to be bullied and it hurts,” said Reinhard.
Reinhard says the bullying started in February. He finally told the school psychologist he was being hurt on the school bus.
“Cause I got tired of it,” he said.
Reinhard says a couple of high school boys used a lighter to heat up the eraser part of the pencil to burn him. It’s an act district officials haven’t even heard of kids doing until now.
An Apache Junction Unified School District representative said there are cameras on the bus and drivers have a list of kids who are allowed to ride. The alleged bullies were on that list, even though the mother initially said they weren’t.
“Shocked, I was appalled someone in high school was actually harming my son who’s in junior high on the bus and that there wasn’t safer transportation being provided for our children,” said Pamela Zorko.
She called the police and the school about the situation. They started investigating. But even after all that, Reinhard says he was beaten up again on Monday after school for tattling.
He says it happened after he got off the bus.
“We want our students to feel safe on our campuses. Can we say with 100 percent certainty that we’re going to be able to do that? No,” said Rep. Brian Kilgore. He said three students were disciplined. The punishment for bullying can be anywhere from detention to expulsion.
Apache Junction Police Department’s Tom Kelly said they handed over the case to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office.
A representative from the office said charges were still under review.
Tannan says she was bullied as a child and remembers being picked on in Grade 1.
“They looked at me as if I did something wrong,” Tannan said.
“They could call me mean names and would tell me how I’m not really important and that I don’t belong in this world and that hurts.”
Those experiences led to Tannan becoming a bully herself.
“I wanted them to feel my pain and how I felt,” she said. “I just wanted revenge.”
It’s taken years to deal with those emotional issues – but Tannan wasn’t alone.
Her ‘Big Sister’ mentor Laurie Anderson, has been working with Tannan since she was five.
Anderson says the two talk about Tannan’s feelings and how bullying has affected her.
“When Tannan and I first started spending time together, she didn’t know how she felt. There were all these feelings rolling up inside of her and she had no idea what to do with them,” Anderson said.
“We get to talk about everything. She’ll say some stuff that is so powerful that I’m driving down the Henday and there’s tears flowing down my eyes. She gets it. She’s able to look at how she’s feeling and verbalize it and recognize the people in her life that have helped her and want to give back.”
Anderson says she’s learned a lot from being a mentor to Tannan.
“Tannan’s made me realize that it’s important for everyone in this world to know somebody loves them just because, just because they are,” Anderson said.
“She’s got such an incredibly positive attitude. She’s able to look at what she’s done in the past and say, ‘that’s not who I want to be.’”
Long-term psychological effects for bully victims
New research says the long-term psychological effects for people who are bullied include panic disorder and anxiety.
“Victims and bullies/victims had elevated rates of young adult psychiatric disorders, but also elevated rates of childhood psychiatric disorders and family hardships,” the study finds.
“The effects of being bullied are direct, pleiotropic, and long-lasting, with the worst effects for those who are both victims and bullies.”
Wednesday is Pink Shirt Day – also known as Anti-Bullying Day, a national campaign encouraging Canadians to take a stand against bullying.
According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, at least one in three adolescent students in Canada have reported being bullied recently and 47 per cent of Canadian parents have reported having a child become a victim of bullying.
On Pink Shirt Day, Edmonton teen reflects on being bullied and bullying others
‘Making a Difference’ anti-bullying club
It’s a topic junior high students at H.E. Beriault Junior High School are trying to tackle.
There’s a new club at the school called ‘Making a Difference’ and members of the club say they’ve taken a course to learn what to do when they witness someone being bullied.
“We just give people more knowledge on how it really affects people and just to stand up for people who can’t,” says club member Esmeralda Rodas.
“If you can intervene within three seconds, the whole thing could stop,” said Jordan Rennie. “If you can intervene in any way then it’s better because you can stop the bullying.”
Some members say they’ve recently put those tactics to use and say the response they’ve been getting has been positive.
“The victim came up to me and said ‘Thank you. That means a lot. I would not be able to do that by myself,’” said Monica Dyjak.
For Tannan, her bullying experiences as a child has affected her ability to trust others.
“It really changed me,” Tannan said.
But the teen says she’s learned from her past, thanks to the help of her mentor, and now focuses on treating people the way she wants to be treated.
“I regret doing that and I’m sorry for those people who I ever did anything to,” Tannan said.
“It made me a really good person. The person I am today is the person that I’m going to be from now on.”
Statistics on bullying in Canada
40 per cent of Canadian workers experience bullying on a weekly basis.
Any participation in bullying increases risk of suicidal ideas in youth.
Among adult Canadians, 38 per cent of men and 30 per cent of women report having experienced occasional or frequent bullying during their school years.
Canada has the ninth highest rate of bullying in the 13-years-old category out of 35 countries.
7 per cent of adult Internet users in Canada, aged 18 and up, self-reported having been a victim of cyber-bullying at some point in their life.
Girls are more likely to be bullied on the Internet than boys.
Statistics from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research