Bullying... Or am I ranting? You be the Judge.
Around this time last year I worked for a community newspaper. I ended up leaving due to moral issues, much like the one Im posting about now.
Pink Ribbon Day. No, we arent trying to raise awareness about breast cancer, but bullying. You see, on Canada's east coast a male high school student wore a pink shirt to school one day, and he was bullied to the point of suicide. He was gay. So now we try to raise awareness through the use of pink ribbons. Not a bad idea, seeing as how a lot of people already have one in their closet somewhere.
For the paper we had many sponsors, and great feedback from the community on the harmful affects of emotional trauma as opposed to physical in regards to bullying.
Some of the best points were made about how physical wounds heal, but emotinal ones can leave you looking like a third degree burn victim on the inside.
All the staff were asked- scratch that, told to wear a pink shirt to work. I refused, and recieved a threat and severe tongue lashing. I told him point blank, I wasnt wearing a pink shirt, period. Next move is his.
He left it at that, but our proffesional relationship was starting to crumble.
Why would I refuse to support such a good cause? Surely you could find no wrong in trying to raise awareness about an issue which causes depression, suicide and murder in young teens.
Perhaps it was a moment of passing clairvoyance. You see, fast forward two weeks and there was an attempted kidnapping in our community. A local middle school student was on his way to school one day when a man pulled up beside him in a van, ased him for directions. The man then jumps out of the van, grabs the kid and starts driving away. Well, he kicks and screams until he finally manages to break free and jump from the moving van.
He runs home and calls the RCMP. A huge investigation ensues looking for the pedophile, and everyone is on edge. Its been many years since anything to this degree has happened in our small community.
Fast forward three more days.
The abducted student made it all up. Nothing happened. I shouldnt say nothing, you see, he was scared to go to school. He was scared of being bullied. After a lengthy investigation by the school staff they had discovered this kid had a mild history of being bullied by the same group of kids since elementary school. They would call him names, wedgies, throw rocks at him.
To make a long story, a little less long, the student who lied ended up issuing an apology.the RCMP, School District and concerned parents sent in many many letters talking about the many dangers of child abduction and all the warning signs.
But what happened to the bullies? This part of the story never ran, and nobody asked any questions. I found it strange that two weeks after everyone donned their pink shirts to fight for this very reason, nobody thoguht to ask about it.
I was quite dissapointed at the community, who was capable of WEARING A PINK SHIRT all day, but when it came to taking any action itself, nobody can be found.
I asked the editor to forward any "letters to the editor" to me that were on this subject, he thought I made some good points and agree'd. I never got one email, because nobody thoguht about it.
I feel like events like these, wear this coloured shirt, or put on this bracelet, or make this .30 donation is all based on self-delusion.
You wear the shirt, or bracelet, or give away some change and you lent a hand, you did your part, your off the hook until next year. Good deed for the year, Check.
But when it truly comes to making a difference everybody hides. I understand there is psychology to blame for this. When in a large group you dont have to take action, take risk because you are just part of a faceless crowd. You might feel a sence of superiority because you already did your part. You wore a shirt that one day.
Thats my rant. Thanks for reading.
And by the way, a co-worker at the paper happened to be neighbours with the child who cried wolf. As it turned out the family tried to fight the school system, saying the bullies need to be dealt with. The school system retorted: "Your child faked an abduction, he needs counselling. Dont worry about the other kids, your son is very troubled."