To This Day Project – Shane Koyczan
“My experiences with violence in schools still echo throughout my life but standing to face the problem has helped me in immeasurable ways. Schools and families are in desperate need of proper tools to confront this problem. This piece is a starting point.”
You may be asking yourself: What is bullying? And according to the Oxford English Dictonary it means “to use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something“.
Personally, I consider – as stated on many websites – bullying to be an unwanted, aggressive behaviour that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. The consequences for both the bully and bullied are serious lasting problems, either psychological or physical.
Bullying includes actions such as:
physically or verbally attacking someone
excluding someone from a group on purpose
There are FOUR types of bullying:
1) Verbal bullying: is saying or writing mean things. It includes:
- Inappropriate sexual comments
- Threatening to cause harm
2) Social bullying or relational bullying: hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. It includes:
- Leaving someone out on purpose
- Telling other children not to be friends with someone
- Spreading rumors about someone
- Embarrassing someone in public
3) Physical bullying: hurting a person’s body or possessions. It includes:
- Taking or breaking someone’s things
- Making mean or rude hand gestures
4) Cyberbullying: bullying that takes place using electronic technology. It includes:
- Mean text messages or emails
- Rumours sent by email or posted on social networking sites
- Embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profilesTaking or breaking someone’s things
Kids who are being cyberbullied are more often than not, bullied in person as well. They also have a harder time getting away from the behaviour for the following reasons:
- Cyberbullying can happen at any time, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone
- Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience, making it difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
- Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely complicated after they have been posted or sent.
Watching the To This Day Project video inspired me to think more in depth of how bullying can scar someone forever, lasting still in their adult lives.
“to this day
despite a loving husband
she doesn’t think she’s beautiful
because of a birthmark
that takes up a little less than half of her face
kids used to say she looks like a wrong answer
that someone tried to erase
but couldn’t quite get the job done
and they’ll never understand
that she’s raising two kids
whose definition of beauty
begins with the word mom
because they see her heart
before they see her skin
that she’s only ever always been amazing”
To picture a lady who is loved by her husband and two children infinitely because they don’t care about her appearance, but rather “her heart”, which is what really matters and makes a person beautiful, but still doesn’t consider herself beautiful really shows the impact bullying can have on someone’s perspective of life.
When people bully, I think they don’t understand how they are are affecting someone’s life and the consequences their actions have. I’m not sure if it is because I’m older and therefore become more aware of what is occurring in the world, or if it is this generation of kids, but many teenagers have committed suicide to escape the torment they experienced. What kind of world do we live in? One where being dead is better than reality is unacceptable for me. Why are kids doing this to each other? It is NOT funny, and it should definitely NOT be tolerated.
The following video in particular really hit close to home because having a brother with Down Syndrome has made me quite sensitive to the way people treat others and how people who are “different” due to race, disability, religious belief, etc. are treated with disrespect as a consequence. Just picturing someone bully my brother for the way he was born, disregarding what a kind, compassionate, and overall amazing human being he is truly upsets me. And to know that someone like him is being bullied is so unfair and illogical to me that it is hard for me to believe people can be so cruel. That is why I don’t want to see anyone experience bullying. LET’S STOP BULLYING.
“Let’s stop bullying for all”
“Let’s stop bullying forever”
“Let’s stop bullying together”
Here are some links to help those suffering from bullying as I find it important for not only children, but anyone to be able to find any kind of support when going through such a tough time. Also, any assertive up-standers can help spread the word of anti-bullying by joining the campaigns from the links provided. One of the most important things to know, is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.