Creating Bullying-Free Schools
In recent months in Canada we have experienced loss of precious, innocent lives of young people who killed themselves when the evil impacts of continuous bullying by a few cowardly classmates made living too difficult for them to endure. Unfortunately, these individuals are neither the first nor the last innocent victims of this malignant practice.
Canada has one of the most diverse populations with people from all countries, races and ethnic backgrounds. As such CANADA IS THE WORLD and the WORLD IS IN CANADA
And yet, in spite of these remarkable facts we have schools that are unsafe, burdened with conflict, with enough bullies to have many innocent victims.
We need to correct this enormous challenge and we can do it.
Undertaking any monumental task such as this, three specific conditions are required:
- COURAGE: Courage to acknowledge that we have a challenge, the problem of bullying;
- HUMILITY: Willingness and openness to seek new answers; and
- VISION :ability to transcend the immediate obstacles and see new and broader horizons.
Bullying is not only a sign of fear, cowardice, self-doubt, and self-hate, it is also a product of ignorance of what makes us human. Once parents and teachers begin to teach children and youth about their humanness, bullying will become as rare and unacceptable as other inhumane practices such as slavery and fascism.
In my considered view and based on my experience with scores of schools, thousands of teachers, tens of thousands of students and their parents, the new horizons for reform of our schools lie on the foundations of PEACE.