People across the country are sending a message that bullying won't be tolerated in support of #PinkShirtDay February 28. The annual initiative works to combat bullying everywhere, and this year's focus is cyber bullying.
According to pinkshirtday.ca, in today's digital world, it can be impossible to escape online bullying, whether it takes the shape of harassment, spreading rumours, sharing embarrassing information or threats. This year, Pink Shirt Day is encouraging others to combat cyberbullying by thinking twice before posting something negative, and instead using the internet to spread kindness - because we know that Nice Needs No Filter!
The annual event came about in Nova Scotia when a group of teens supported a Grade 9 student who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. They took a stand by handing out pink shirts to all the boys at their school, and the bullies were never heard from again.
Bullying is intentional tormenting in physical, verbal, or psychological ways. It can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats, and mocking to extorting money and treasured possessions. Some kids bully by shunning others and spreading rumors about them. Others use email, chat rooms, instant messages, social networking websites, and text messages to taunt others or hurt their feelings.
Bullying happens in a variety of ways - Social, Cyber, Physical and Verbal. All are equally wrong and can have long-lasting effects on someone's mental health and physical well-being. When you see someone who is being bullied don't sit silently by and let it happen. Studies have proven when someone intervenes; the bullying usually stops within 10 seconds.
Why Do Kids Bully?
There are many reasons why kids bully. They usually pick the children who seem weaker - emotionally or physically, but not all cases are like this. They bully to feel powerful and in control of the individual. Some children may have experienced bullying in their life so they bully others to feel good about themselves. It could also be the way their family members treat them. They may think that being angry, shouting and calling people names is the norm.
Signs of Bullying
Unless your child tells you, it may be hard to see the signs that it is happening. Some warning signs could be your child is acting anxious, not eating, not sleeping, and not doing the things he/she usually enjoys. They may try to avoid taking the bus to school or school all together. If you suspect your child is being bullied, try and find ways to get them to open up. If you see a television show were a child is being bullied, ask your child what he/she thinks that child should do in that situation.
Helping Your Child
If your child tells you that they are a victim of bullying, listen carefully to what they tell you and bring them comfort and support. Your child may feel embarrassed or ashamed about telling you and worry that you will be disappointed in them. Reassure them that you are proud of them for telling you about the bullying.
DRPS would like to remind everyone that bullying is not an individual problem; it's everyones. We need to work together to stop bullying in our schools, businesses and community. In addition to pink shirts, DRPS members will be wearing pink ribbon pins and pink epaulettes.
To find out more about Pink Shirt Day visit Pinkshirtday.ca
Chief Martin and Deputy Fernandes (JPG file, 1,348.3K bytes)