The Globe reached out to younger readers and asked whether they have learned anything at school that helped prevent bullying. Here are some of their responses. Add your voice in the comments section of this article.
Yes, but unfortunately the most important lessons were learned through experience, and not through outside involvement of the teachers. Bullying, especially cyberbullying, isn't something teachers, or administrative staff, are well trained to deal with. For me, I found that too often they fell back on board-wide policies and initiatives, blanket programs. But once those policies were applied to individual cases, they fell apart.
– Conrad, Grade 12, Sutton, Ont.
No. My mom changed my school and things got better. And I take mixed-martial arts so kids don't bother me now. Kids who bully should get suspended, not just have a talk.
– Cole, Grade 6, Welland, Ont.
No. As opposed to what the Premier of B.C. is saying, we DO need legislation, and not education. Nothing we learned in school is preventing bullying. The teachers made us write anti-bullying pledges on these paper hands, but I swear, almost nobody meant what they wrote. We need laws that ban all types of bullying. The school should crack down on bullying by any means possible and actually enforce its rules.
– Edward, Grade 8, Waterloo, Ont.
The problems of even a few decades ago are not the problems of today. I've seen girls in the change room with scars on their legs, but I've never seen someone get their lunch money stolen. We need to update what we teach students and make it easier for peers to help other peers, because the simple "go tell an adult" message that all videos spread is not an answer for the majority of students.
– Kassidy, Grade 9, Bolton, Ont.
I don't think it's fair to blame the teachers for the ignorance in students. Personally, my peers and I have been taught about bullying since kindergarten. What more can you do but explain how to avoid being bullied, how to control anger and how to help the victim.
– Maria, Grade 10, Milton, Ont.
I once had a teacher explain to my class that the best way to stop bullying was to change your reaction. Bullies look for a negative effect, and they want to see your self-confidence shrink with every action they produce. Therefore, keeping your reactions unpredictable will not only surprise them, but also make you on the same level. Laugh, joke around, and use sarcasm! Trust me, you will feel better and the bully is less likely to hurt you.
– Adrianna, Grade 11, Kelowna, B.C.
There should be consequences. Bring back detentions and calling parents in the event of kids getting in trouble. If kids knew they would get in trouble or have to suffer consequences, they would take it upon themselves to act responsibly.
– Ashley, Toronto, postsecondary, Toronto