Sorry, I don’t like days like Pink Shirt Day, mostly because I feel there needs to be a more systemic approach, a clipping of a deeper root, for the problem we have come to know as bullying. I also could write reams about the word bullying and how it is being watered down, effectively making real bullying difficult to discern. However, I AM taking the opportunity today to prove to you, once and for all, that bullying isn’t new, that it isn’t “nothing,” and that it is, plainly put, absolutely wrong. Read this excerpt from a blog written today by a writer-friend Kevin Craig. You can find the whole blog – which is actually inspiring – here.
He’s speaking of high school in the 1980s in Oshawa: “My bullies were relentless. I was too androgynous, too gay, too weird, too crazy, too much of a freak, too girlie, too offensive, etc, etc, etc. I was pushed in front of a moving car on Simcoe Street, just outside the front of the school. I was pushed down the stairs in the hall. I had numerous swirlies (where they take your head and hold it in the toilet while they flush), I was punched, kicked, slashed, jumped on, spit on. Every single day I had to pick spitballs out of my hair. Going from class to class was a combat zone. Teachers turned away. The ones who weren’t enticing the bullying (like the one mentioned above who couldn’t even look at me), were okay with it. They stomped me down, and down and down.”
And I’ll leave you with this: Why not simply call it assault?