Editorial: Bullying is not just a child’s problem

These are adult problems — massive, tragic, debilitating problems that need to be addressed

Bullying takes many forms.

It can be loud and physical, as in the stereotypical ‘shove the smallest kid in the locker’ scenario.

It can also be silent and torturous — imagine being left out of the group, time and time again.

It takes place in the schoolyard, but bullying doesn’t stop there. It’s not just in schools, and it’s not just a child’s problem.

While the word ‘bully’ has gotten a lot of media time in recent years, there is a long list of abusive behaviours that fall under the term. Anywhere there is an agressor, there is often a victim.

Elder abuse.  Sexual assualt. Gang attacks. Homophobic violence. Spousal assault. Child abuse. Workplace harrassment.

These are adult problems — massive, tragic, debilitating problems that need to be addressed.

Are we getting close to reducing any of the above? Hardly. But we need to keep trying.

To that end, Feb. 27 is Pink Shirt Day in British Columbia. Students are being encouraged to wear pink, but also being taught to be more empathetic. It’s a commendable way to engage children in discussions about bullying, and we will be wearing pink at The Observer in support of the initiative.

If we can help even one child speak up and feel heard, or encourage another child to see their peers as equals instead of emotional punching bags, then we’d be thrilled.

But what would be even more satisfying is knowing that adults out there would agree to take the time to reflect on their own behaviour that day.

Have you pushed around a co-worker lately? Ignored someone else being bullied? Exercised cruelty when dealing with a child or elder? Most importantly, are you behaving in a way that your children would be proud of?

Because if we know one thing, it’s that they’re watching.

Agassiz Harrison Observer

Just Posted

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

Chilliwack teen to take on the world after winning Canadian junior dog-handling national championship

Chilliwack’s Kayla Penney is heading to Crufts to compete for her first international title

Country talent Petunia returns to Bozzini’s in Chilliwack Saturday

Petunia, performing Nov. 17, is referred to as ‘The Savior of Country Music’

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

John Horgan shrugs off low turnout, change to referendum option

‘No’ proportional representation group says voting should be extended

Two more government pot shops to open in Kamloops

Two private applications are also in the queue to come before city council by the end of the year

2 B.C. men charged after allegedly stealing $1,400 worth of butter

The two men, ages 23 and 25, are facing charges of theft under $5,000, Coquitlam police said

Invasive fire ants join the tourist swarms at Hawaii Volcano National Park

Invasive species found at popular tourist destination

Ten-year sentence for man convicted of B.C. belt-strangling death

Shayne McGenn guilty of manslaughter in 2016 death of David Delaney, 63

BREAKING: Metro Vancouver mayors cancel Surrey LRT in favour of SkyTrain

TransLink will immediately suspend work on light rail

Roy Clark, country singer, ‘Hee Haw’ star, has died

Guitar virtuoso died because of complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla. He was 85.

Lack of funding, culture on campus biggest barriers for Indigenous students: report

Report based on nearly 300 responses found lack of support at post-secondary schools a big concern

Most Read