EDITORIAL: Bullying has to be stopped

Bullying is an ongoing problem in schools, and in many other places beyond school, and despite all the publicity and programs over the last several years, it does not seem to be diminishing at all.

Thus, with the development of a new bullying program through the Canadian Red Cross, along many other local stakeholders, educators want to bring a new, higher level of awareness of the problem to the public's attention by holding a massive "Pink Parade" today, Apr. 13, through Weyburn's downtown area.

Weather permitting, organizers are hoping there will be a crowd of well over 1,000 participants who will march up Third Street, with involvement from the Comp's SRC and from all the elementary and junior high schools, who will also be participating in a city-wide "Pink Shirt Day", all in the name of promoting acceptance and tolerance of all people, and the right not to be bullied.

Those adults not in school, or who no longer have children in the system, may question if bullying is actually still a problem; the statistics show overwhelmingly, this is not a problem that has diminished with the years.

In Canada, one in five children is bullied, and one in 12 youth are regularly harassed in school by other students. In a study done for Health Canada, 43 per cent of boys and 35 per cent of girls said they had been bullied in that year.

One stat shows a huge discrepancy: 71 per cent of teachers said they usually intervene in bullying episodes, while only 25 per cent of students themselves say that teachers intervene. This shows that teachers, and by extension, most adults, are unaware of how prevalent bullying is in school.

As a society, and as families, we need to pay attention to this problem and stop it where it starts, at young ages on the school ground, as well as at home or in the neighbourhood. It can no longer be acceptable to verbally or physically abuse another person, not for any reason. As long as this is tolerated, we will always have bullying to contend with.

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