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Grade 7 students participate in class at East Alternative School of Toronto (E.A.S.T.) in Toronto, Ont. Nov. 30, 2011. (Kevin Van Paassen/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)
Grade 7 students participate in class at East Alternative School of Toronto (E.A.S.T.) in Toronto, Ont. Nov. 30, 2011. (Kevin Van Paassen/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)


This is what bullying feels like Add to ...

Then one day he came to my school and called me several names and finished off by saying he was going to beat me up. I ran into the school to report this but he followed and pushed me up against the wall near the office, called me a faggot and walked off. It was only when I yelled, “Being gay isn’t a bad thing” that the secretary noticed. So there is my story: From talking in a funny voice being abused and called a faggot.


Olivia Caron

I’ve been lucky enough to have not been bullied seriously. However, I have been the bully before. It was last year, which tells you that even at a school with an anti-bullying policy, things still happen.

I had two groups of friends, but I started drifting away from one of the groups. I had just gotten an iPhone and me and my closer friends would make videos on my phone at lunch. We would do crazy things and scream and sing songs. Then we started making fun of people. We made fun of three people by imitating them, exaggerating how they did things, making up how they walk, quoting them on things they never actually said.

For two boys, it happened twice, but for a girl named Sophie, it happened many more times. There was peer pressure all around us when we made these videos. There was one specific video that lots of people knew about, and it was the meanest.

We showed lots of people, laughing about it.

One day, I walked home with two friends who were also friends with Sophie. I showed them the video, laughing. They told me that it was mean and not funny, but I shook it off. People started to forget and we didn’t make any more videos.

About two weeks after, I saw those friends at the teacher’s desk. It turns out that they were telling her about the video. I was so mad at first, but now I’m glad they told.

I think all teachers and parents should deal with bullying the way E.A.S.T. does. The next day, I was brought into the teacher’s office about four times. They questioned all the girls over the next week. We were warned that if it happened again, we would be suspended. We didn’t realize how serious it was until the teachers talked to us. If they didn’t deal with it, it would have gotten worse.

In the end, I learned that I will never do anything like that again. If all adults dealt with it like that, 300 kids wouldn’t die each year.

It’s hard to stop bullies, but it’s not impossible.


When I was younger I was made fun of all the time. People would continuously kick me out of groups and not let me play soccer. I spent many recesses all alone sitting in a corner dreaming of when the bell was going to ring. I lost the feeling to express myself. When it came to Grade 6 and the bully left, I felt really powerful. I never wanted to lose that feeling of power so I thought that by bullying other kids it would get better. Halfway through the year, one kid talked to me and said how he thought I was being a bully.

After this I realized I didn’t need to make other people feel bad to make me feel good.

At E.A.S.T. people tell me they feel that they can tell anyone anything, but I still don’t feel that way. I still think that people are going to judge me if I say something wrong. I wake up in the morning and try to wear my best clothes so people don’t judge me. I don’t want my name included because I feel like people will judge me for expressing my thoughts.

Editor's note: Marjorie Raymond lived in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts in Gaspésie, not in Montreal. Incorrect information appeared in a previous version of this story.

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