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More marches against bullying planned

5 Dec

MONTREAL – Demonstrations against bullying are being planned for two cities in Quebec this month, as people across the province remain shaken by the suicide of a teenage girl who said she took her own life because of bullying.

Family and friends buried 15-year-old Marjorie Raymond in Granby Saturday afternoon, while nearly 200 marchers calling for an end to teen bullying gathered at Maisonneuve Park in Montreal.

The march, which had been planned weeks ago, was dedicated to the memory of Raymond, who committed suicide Monday after three years of bullying at her high school in the Gaspésie. In her suicide note, Raymond asked that she be buried in her hometown and laid to rest next to her grandfather.

Raymond’s mother, Chantal Larose, addressed the media after the service. In a shaky voice, she said she hoped “the worst thing that could happen to a mother� would serve a greater purpose for other teenagers and their families.

“I’m happy to see that people have been shaken by this,� she said. “I think it has woken up a lot of people to the situation that exists. But it’s not up to me to make the change. It’s up to the ensemble to make sure this problem is acted upon.�

Larose has been outspoken in the days following her daughter’s death, saying she wants it to serve as a warning call so that her family’s tragedy will not have been in vain. The issues of teen suicide and bullying garnered nationwide coverage in the wake of Raymond’s death.

“I’m sure things will change,� Larose said. “It can’t stay the same after the act that my daughter committed.�

The Montreal march was organized by 13-year-old Maxime Collard, a victim of bullying, and his mother Isabelle Marchand. They called on the government to create a program to tackle bullying.

“This must stop, and we must be certain that what happened to Marjorie doesn’t happen to others,� said Collard, who considered taking his life after months of being pushed into the mud and pelted with rocks at his school.

Collard chose instead to bring attention to the problem. He and his mother organized a march in his hometown of Sorel-Tracy attended by hundreds, including local politicians. On Nov. 29, they were awarded the Paul Gérin-Lajoie prize from the Tolerance Foundation for their efforts.

They have organized two other marches this month, one in Boucherville on Sunday and another in Gatineau on Dec. 17.


Insanity: Seven Year Old Kid Accused of Sexual Harrassment for Kicking Bully …

4 Dec

I had the opportunity to talk to some Tea-Partiers and got an eerie feeling. Please, let me explain.

Some will say , “As an aside, I own a small farm.”

I ask, “Do you support American taxpayer’s wealth being redistributed to American farmers?”

The farmer replies, “For the small family farmer this is not an easy life; up at dawn and often working past dusk.”

I tell them, “Does that really matter? All that matters is ‘Can you compete in the global economy?’”

The farmer replies, “If I didn’t get government help, I would be out of business.”

I say “Marxists, like many here, would have government subsidies for buggy-whip makers for heavens sake, because they too worked from dusk til dawn!”


Dead bullied teen’s mom calls for tolerance and peace

4 Dec

A Quebec mother mourning the suicide of her teenaged daughter wants tougher penalties for young bullies.

But Chantal Larose also urged people to resist lashing out at her daughter’s alleged intimidators.

Larose’s daughter Marjorie Raymond hanged herself last Monday after enduring years of physical and psychological intimidation at her Gaspé region high school.

Her ashes were buried on Saturday in a Granby cemetary.

Marjorie Raymond killed herself last week. (Canadian Press)Larose called her 15-year-old daughter’s death “the worst thing that could happen to a mother.”

“I think it has woken people up to the situation” she said exists for many young people across the country.

Larose wants to see Quebec schools develop clearer anti-bullying policies, and act more swiftly in specific cases to prevent future tragedies.

She’d also like to see tougher laws to discourage peer intimidation.

But Larose urged people to leave Marjorie’s intimidators alone, saying retribution reinforces the cycle of violence.

At a Saturday rally in Montreal more than 200 people marched through Maisonneuve Park, demanding an end to intimidation. The march was organized weeks ago, but was dedicated to Marjorie’s memory after her Nov. 28 death.

A teenager at the anti-intimidation march holds up a sign. (Radio-Canada)Youth who bully others need as much assistance as their victims, said Mikhala Lantz-Simmons, who works with the Tolerance Foundation.

Bystanders who witness bullying must speak out too, “and that can be as simple as telling the student who’s getting mistreated that ‘Hey, I’m not okay with the way you’re getting treated,’” Lantz-Simmons said.

“Just doing that alone is a way of saying ‘I’m not okay with this’” and is a show of support for the victim, she said.

Psychologists and support workers have been at the school meeting with students since Marjorie’s death.

Students who have spoken with media this week say Marjorie was bullied by several people at school, who taunted her via text message and social media outlets like Facebook.

Those reports were reflected in dozens of comments left on several Facebook memorial pages that sprung up in the dead teen’s honour this past week.

The Quebec coroner’s office is investigating Marjorie’s death with the assistance of provincial police.


APNewsBreak: U.of Iowa settles few bullying cases

4 Dec


Concord school, students take a stand against bullying

4 Dec

It was surprising, they all said, that so many of them had been affected by a bully.

Nearly 100 of the 647 students at Concord Middle School said that at one point or another they had been afraid to come to school this year.

Over two and a half days last month, the students, faculty, and staff at the school, under the banner of “CMS Stands Together,’’ engaged in a student-led, largely homegrown curriculum about bullying.

The first surprise was an anonymous survey answered by the sixth- through eighth-graders that revealed bullies and their victims permeated the school. Many students admitted to being a bully as well as a victim.

The other surprise was how many students had signed up to help lead the program. Earlier this fall, English teacher Sarah Oelkers and guidance counselor Kim Cyr asked the eighth-grade classes for volunteers to plan a program that would take up the short week leading to Thanksgiving.

“Fifty-seven of us crammed into one classroom,’’ said eighth-grader Claire Schnadig.

“In midwinter last year, we decided to throw the curriculum out the window and involve the whole community, rather than just disperse antibullying lessons piecemeal,’’ said Lynn Beattie, the school’s principal.

They had Olympic athletes, coaches, a teen singing sensation, and a Boston rapper all appear on stage. They made a video in which students, either anonymously or on camera, told of their bad experiences. They made posters to hang on the walls. They wrote on inflated balloons what action they could take in the future and sent them aloft.

Classes were devoted to discussing such issues as what makes a leader; what makes a bully; what can the individual do; what steps a bystander should take.

Frank Novak, a former college and professional football coach who is now a motivational speaker, held a question-and-answer session with eighth-graders.

“We had great participation, particularly from boys,’’ said Beattie.

For two days, the students were divided into groups of 25 with two teachers.

“It was the same team the whole time, which allowed them to be open and honest,’’ said Oelkers.

Singer Hayley Reardon, a 15-year-old singer from Marblehead, performed her antibullying anthem “Stand Together.’’ Students also heard from Boston rapper Mojo B, formerly Brent Shuttleworth, who attended Concord public schools. He described how he had been bullied at Concord Middle School and how it affected him.

“I think the antibullying initiative is incredibly important for several reasons,’’ said the rapper. “It deepens and develops the relationship between the students by supporting the idea of an ‘upstander,’ someone who is able discourage bullying by standing up for others being bullied. And it allows students to see what other students experience, and places an emphasis on both understanding similarities and respecting differences.’’

Oelkers said the balloon ceremony brought tears to her eyes. Each student wrote “something they could do to be kind’’ on a balloon, read it, and let it go.

“In my 18 years as a teacher, this is the single most powerful teaching and learning experience I’ve been involved with,’’ said Oelkers.

Liz Welburn, Concord Middle School’s assistant principal, said the faculty gave the students the terminology, the language to deal with bullies.

Eighth-graders said the role of the bystander is key.

“The bystanders are the most important part because they can step in and stop the bully where the target can’t,’’ said eighth-grader Bryce Bjork.

In addition to Oelkers, other teachers who spearheaded the initiative were Kim Cyr, Kari Kibler, Dan Murphy, and Maria McDermott.

Over lunch, a group of eighth-graders shared their thoughts about the experience.

“It’s gone so well, better than I thought,’’ said Chris Sykes. “It’s the small things that add up. It may not seem like bullying but it is. A lot of us have been victims.’’

“This has allowed kids to take charge,’’ said Bjork.

Charlotte Wallis said lessons from the program will last all year.

“I thought two days could be depressing or cheesy,’’ said Margaret Gill. “But I like our approach.’’

“It’s not all about the victim,’’ said Sykes. “You have to look at the bully too. That person needs help. Sometimes the bully needs more help than the victim.’’

Ryan Hebert summed it up simply: “It worked.’’

Betsy Levinson can be reached at betsy.levinson@gmail.com.


Experts gang up on underdeveloped, oversensitive bullying code

4 Dec

Lacking in strength ... Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying is only in its draft stage but bullying experts say the document does not go far enough.

Lacking in strength … Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying is only in its draft stage but bullying experts say the document does not go far enough. Photo: Rob Homer

WITHHOLDING information and training, not providing enough work or assigning tasks beneath a worker’s qualifications will all become instances of workplace bullying, under a proposed code of conduct by Safe Work Australia.

Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying is only in its draft stage but bullying experts say the document does not go far enough in defining the myriad types of bullying behaviour and, in some cases, also leaves the employer unfairly exposed to accusations of inaction.

The final draft will go to the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council and could inform future workplace laws in NSW, which has no specific anti-bullying legislation. Victoria introduced a maximum 10-year sentence for proved serious bullying offences earlier this year, following the 2006 suicide of 19-year-old Brodie Panlock.

Her three co-workers could only be convicted and fined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, as there was no criminal provision.

Queensland and South Australia are now looking at adopting legislation similar to Victoria’s.

The draft document was a ”helpful step”, said Dan Riley, a senior lecturer at the University of New England’s School of Business, Economics and Public Policy and a researcher into workplace bullying. However, the document had some flaws, including the failure to distinguish between overt and covert bullying behaviours.

”Some bullies use the system to shift the focus of the bullying from themselves to the bullying being caused by the organisational expectations within the existing environment,” Dr Riley said. That an employer could potentially be open to litigation because they failed to act on an informal verbal complaint, which could be as little as a passing remark, was also of concern, he said, along with the absence of recognition that over-sensitive workers could perceive bullying behaviour from colleagues or bosses, when no such behaviour was intended.

The psychologist and author Evelyn Field said that the draft document’s definition of bullying as ”repeated behaviour” excluded the possibility of a worker being traumatised after a single incident. The emphasis on mediation was also of concern.

”There’s very little evidence mediation works in cases of bullying because [mediation] relies on the assumption of equal power,” she said. ”Bullying at work happens when there is unequal power.” The draft document is open for public comment until December 16.


Bullied Teen Jonah Mowry Is Doing Well And Happy!!!!

4 Dec

We were so deeply moved by the above video, of 14 year bullying victim Jonah Mowry bravely sharing his story with the world. Not just recounting how difficult it has been for him but also revealing how strong he is and how much he has to live for! That optimism in the face of adversity is so inspiring!

Jonah and his video really shook us to the core of our being and we took it upon ourselves to post it on ALL our websites, our Facebook, our Twitter – and we even Tweeted it to just about every celeb we followed!

The amount of support Jonah has gotten is overwhelming!

He has given the world a great gift with this poignant video!

And, he HAS saved the lives of other young souls who will hopefully follow his lead and stick it out! Suicide is NOT the answer!

We are very happy to report that Jonah is doing very well and happy!

He has this YouTube channel where he’s been having fun lipsynching to some of our favorite artists, goofing around in other vids, and just being the very special kid he is.

We’ve also been chatting with Jonah on his Twitter account and through DM. He is so touched by all the love being sent his way.

The internet can oftentimes be a big bad thing. But, in times like this, it can be quite beautiful!

We also invited Jonah to our birthday party in March and we can’t wait to meet him and for him to enjoy all the cool performers and get to meet all the celebrity guests! It should be some much-needed major fun! Because that is what life is all about – having fun! And sticking around long enough to enjoy all the fun to come!

Life is not fun every single day. But it is a great gift and you are special! Know that!

Share Jonah’s video with your friends!

It gets better! It really does!

Read more »


Bullied Teen Shares Story of Pain and Perseverance in Online Video

4 Dec

Bullied Teen Shares Story of Pain and Perseverance in Online VideoBullied Teen Shares Story of Pain and Perseverance in Online Video A teenage boy named Jonah Mowry posted the above video to YouTube in August, in which he uses note cards to share the heartbreaking story of what a lifetime of being bullied has done to him. It’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen, by one of the bravest boys I’ve never met.

“I get bullied every day,” Jonah explains, adding that the abuse he’s suffered from classmates—including being called “gay,” “fag,” “dick,” “douche,” and “homo”—began when he was first grade. “I’ve cut… a lot,” he writes on another note card, before displaying several self-mutilation scars for the camera. “Suicide has been an option… many times.”

Jonah then reveals he’s about to start eighth grade. But since he has only one close friend remaining, he’s not ready to return to school. “I’m scared to go back,” he writes, before explaining why in the following set of note cards (which I’ve edited for spelling, punctuation and clarity):

A lot of people hate me. I don’t know why.

But I guess I do, because I kind of hate me, too.

I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired of being torn down and then building myself up, only to be torn down again.

Now sobbing, Jonah pauses. He stares into the camera. A deep breath follows. And then (again, edited for spelling, punctuation and clarity):

But I’m not going anywhere. Because I’m stronger than that.

And I have a million reasons to be here.

One update on a Twitter account bearing Jonah’s name led me to RandomTV201‘s YouTube channel, which features several videos of a boy strongly resembling Jonah (often with the same female friend). The account’s most recent video, a lip-sync of Rihanna’s “SM,” was posted just yesterday. Based on that, I think it’s fair to assume Jonah is alive (and hopefully well).

Jonah Mowry has endured a lifetime of pain and suffering at the hands of bullies, yet he’s still with us. He’s still with us because he’s been brave enough, and strong enough, to persevere—to remember that life is always worth living. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about thousands of other bullied teens for whom suicide was the answer. So as we celebrate Jonah’s life, let’s commemorate those cut short by continuing to work to end bullying.

Bullied Teen Shares Story of Pain and Perseverance in Online VideoUpdate: As commenter nightelfmohawk points out, Jonah just posted this new video to YouTube, in which he thanks everyone for the love and support they’ve shown to him in the past few hours. Jonah also dismisses any suggestion his original video was fake. “Yes, three months ago I decided to make a fake video about how I was being bullied for being gay just for attention,” he says sarcastically. “Really? No.”


Thanks to Reality TV, Bullying May Be Higher in Teens, Especially During the …

4 Dec

Parents who let their girls watch reality TV should be ready for a higher level of drama and bullying in their lives, reports CBS News )www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7389821ntag=mncol;lst;1). Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil notes this is likely because reality TV is produced in such a way that highlights drama to make shows more watch-worthy. “Teen girls are easily impressionable,” says Dr. Bonnie, “and seeing their favorite characters on TV behave in a certain way will influence their behavior.”

(PRWEB) December 04, 2011

Parents who let their girls watch reality TV should be ready for a higher level of drama and bullying in their lives, reports CBS News (www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7389821ntag=mncol;lst;1). Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil notes this is likely because reality TV is produced in such a way that highlights drama to make shows more watch-worthy. “Teen girls are easily impressionable,” says Dr. Bonnie, “and seeing their favorite characters on TV behave in a certain way will influence their behavior.”

Additionally, around this time of year, stress is higher and pressure to have the latest, coolest gifts and gadgets can be higher as well. Kids are also feeling the cut-backs of a troubled economy, too, and may act out by bullying. Pair this with a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality often perpetuated by reality TV and parents may have a recipe for disaster. To this end, Dr. Bonnie suggests parents turn off the TV and have their kids keep these things in mind:

  • Reality TV isn’t Real: These shows are created to be exciting and enticing. Consequences often aren’t taken into account during the 30 or 60 minutes of a show – but these potentially painful outcomes are things teens need to be aware of. Just because they don’t see the fallout caused by someone’s behavior – or because that fallout looks semi-glamorous on TV – doesn’t free them from dealing with painful results in their own life.

“Teens use the glamour of reality shows as a role model,” says Dr. Bonnie. “This can lead to them being violent, sadistic or bullying.” Dr. Bonnie suggests parents watch the shows before their kids do to screen for appropriate content. If it’s something that’s popular with their peers, kids may want to watch the show in spite of the content. In these cases, Dr. Bonnie recommends parents watch the shows with their teens. During this time, parents can let their kids know these shows aren’t reality, and use it as an opportunity to teach empathy – which is the opposite of bullying.

  • Communication is Crucial: Parents should use a version of “Smart Heart Skills and Dialogue” which Dr. Bonnie recommends for adults as a safe space for communication. “Your kid may be the bully, or they may experience bullying,” says Dr. Bonnie, “and they need a place to be honest about what’s going on.” Dr. Bonnie suggests having a specific time for parents to check in with their kids each week and ask tough questions about what their child’s relationships and behavior looks like. “Then give them an opportunity to be honest with their answers and know that you won’t get angry.” When using Dr. Bonnie’s Smart Heart, parents should explain to kids, for example: ‘reality TV portrayals are over-corrections, exaggerated forms of life, and sensationalism, not reality.’ “In other words,” says Dr. Bonnie, “use Smart Heart to say: ‘don’t do as the reality shows say or do!’”

Creating communication and trust with a child will help provide accountability for students that might tend toward bullying. It’s also helpful for kids that are at risk of being bullied. Many children won’t offer up information on their own; parents need to be sure they’re the person asking questions says Dr. Bonnie.

Text ADULTERY to 82257 to find out from Dr Bonnie if adultery may be looming in your relationship!

Interested in a few dating tips from internationally acclaimed relationship therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil?

Text DATINGTIPS to 82257 to receive Tips and Updates from Dr. Bonnie!

Adultery the Forgivable Sin is being re-released under a new distributor and making its appearance available in eBook format and via print on demand, Nov 18 2011. Available on Amazon (available on Amazon (www.amazon.com/Adultery-Forgivable-Bonnie-Eaker-Weil/dp/1587768151/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8qid=1321019076sr=8-1)

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, author of the 2010 New York Times Reader’s Choice Award winning book Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD Falling in Love and Staying In Love. Dr. Bonnie counsels couples considering breaking up, people who have committed adultery, and couples who want to strengthen their relationships damaged by resentment or unresolved anger, teaching people to “fight” to increase passion, bring back magic and restore the sizzle. Dr. Bonnie teaches Smart Heart Dialogue along with communication and connection tools, and counsel’s families and children.

Known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of Adultery: The Forgivable Sin (adapted into a Lifetime movie starring actress Kate Jackson) Coming Nov 2011 as eBook, Make Up Don’t Break Up, Finding and Keeping Love for Singles and Couples (Revised edition Feb 2010, including DVD How to Fall in Love and Stay in Love for Singles and Couples), Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity.

Dr. Bonnie has appeared on a Discovery Health documentary titled “Unfaithful” and AE on addictions. ABC’s Good Morning America, a three-day series on NBC’s The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show five times, a four day series on Fox TV regarding dating. She appears frequently on ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC News, The View, 20/20, and CNN. Visit Dr. Bonnie at www.DoctorBonnie.com.


For the original version on PRWeb visit: www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/12/prweb9011335.htm


Frank’s bullying put-downs won’t be missed

4 Dec

BARNEY FRANK may be the only member of Congress who has ever made headlines for not acting like a jerk.

When the longtime Massachusetts representative found himself last year facing — for the first time in decades — a strong Republican challenge , journalists noticed something strange: He wasn’t being as nasty as usual. He wasn’t responding to questions with his trademark put-downs. He wasn’t condescending to critics with quite as much sneering contempt.

“Barney Frank reinvents himself as a nice guy,’’ wrote Jonathan Strong in a story for The Daily Caller. The Boston Herald’s Margery Eagan, “bracing to get hammered’’ when she asked Frank some questions, was amazed when, instead of insulting or berating her, he answered her questions “almost diplomatically.’’

But Frank’s unwonted restraint vanished on election night. In what may have been the most graceless victory speech in US congressional history, he savaged the Herald, accused Republicans of engaging in “vituperation’’ and “anonymous smears,’’ and proclaimed his reelection “a victory for a concept of government which eschews anger and vitriol.’’

Which was quite a proclamation, coming from someone who is as renowned for his invective and browbeating as for his liberalism and smarts. When Frank eventually goes to his eternal reward — and I wish him many more years of activity and good health — it’s safe to assume that the words “He eschewed anger and vitriol’’ will not be engraved on his monument.

Frank said last week that he plans to retire when his current term ends at the end of next year. That made him the 24th House incumbent to announce that he won’t seek reelection. But only in Frank’s case did the media coverage include printing roundups of his “oftentimes acerbic comments,’’ or collecting tweets from “the many journalists who have felt his wrath,’’ or posting a greatest-hits reel of Frank on the House floor, belittling and excoriating his Republican colleagues.

Politics and passion have always gone together, and all other things being equal, a quick-witted congressman with strong views and the ability to defend them is preferable to a colorless drudge. No one has ever doubted Frank’s intelligence or wit, and it isn’t only liberals who could appreciate his gift for wry retorts. (“My colleagues on the other side have decided to adopt a Marxist idea,’’ he said during one House debate. “The Marx in question, of course, is Chico.’’)

But it’s one thing to be a quotable curmudgeon. It’s something quite different to be a bully.

Frank has long been “one of the most notorious bullies’’ on Capitol Hill, remarked Dana Milbank in The Washington Post . The Massachusetts Democrat will be remembered not just for his left-wing politics or as one of the first gay members of Congress, but also for his “gratuitous nastiness,’’ as Milbank put it – the public tongue-lashings, the spiteful mockery, the caustic abuse of aides, the almost routine willingness to tell people how stupid they are. This isn’t just impatience; Frank plainly takes a certain pleasure in publicly humiliating his victims. It isn’t hard to find stories of Frank berating someone to the point of tears. But I have never heard of him apologizing for it afterward.

Ironically — or maybe it’s just human nature — Barney Frank has no trouble condemning in others the ugly behavior to which he so often resorts. He has been unsparing toward Newt Gingrich, for example, describing him as having “made a career out of attacking people around here and trying to rip them apart.’’ I have heard him caution his allies on the left about the importance of “showing a bit of respect for cultural values with which you disagree,’’ and admonishing them not to “call people bigots and fools just because you disagree with them.’’

But when Frank — who often condemns the sour tone in Washington and Congress — was politely asked on NBC’s “Today’’ show last week whether he might have contributed to the bitterness in the Capitol, his answer was no. Instead, he nastily scolded the anchor for her “negative approach.’’

Frank, who has been my congressman for nearly 30 years, comes from a family of outspoken liberal Democrats. His sister, Ann Lewis , was a senior Democratic Party strategist and an adviser in the Clinton White House, while their mother, the late Elsie Frank , was president of the Massachusetts Association for Older Americans. Over the years, as it happens, I had the opportunity to participate in debates or other public forums with each of them. In my experience all three were skilled advocates, quick on their feet and passionate in their views. But neither Mrs. Frank nor her daughter felt it necessary to make cutting insults about anyone’s intelligence, or to treat a disagreement about politics as an excuse for vituperation.

I wish I could say the same about their son and brother.

Jeff Jacoby can be reached at jacoby@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeff_Jacoby.


Courtney Stodden Tells Bullying Victims To ‘Stay True To Themselves’

4 Dec

Teen bride Courtney Stodden says she’s living “like a princess” these days, but it wasn’t always that way — and she has a message for teens.

You need to realize that it’s not [you],” she told TheFABlife this week. “It’s the bully who’s picking on them, it’s their problem.”

The 17-year-old Stodden tells TheFABlife that she was once victim to bullying, and before she married 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison, she had posted a video to YouTube that criticizes cyberbullying.

Jealousy goes so far to the extent where threaten you. They say, we’re going to kill you or you should be killed,” she says in the YouTube video. “I’m actually scared for their mental being. It’s just sad what jealousy pushes them to say and do.”

In an interview with ABC’s Nightline in July, Stodden said she was bullied so badly by other girls because of her mature looks that her mother pulled the teen out of school for home schooling.

She continues her message on TheFablife: “There’s nothing wrong with the victim. They’re perfect, they’re beautiful, and they need to stay true to themselves.”

Stodden is one of many in the public eye who have spoken out against bullying by discussing their own pasts.

Last week, actress Charlize Theron told People magazine that she struggled to fit in during her school years and was victim to bullying. Theron said she was teased for her “nerdy glasses,” haircut and clothes, and her desire to be one of the popular kids made her do “crazy things.”

Madonna also spoke out in Harper’s Bazaar to tell her story of a “tortured” childhood rife with schoolyard bullying.

The boys in my school would make fun of me,” she told Harper’s Baazar. “‘Hairy monster.’ You know, things like that.”

On the other side of the fence, rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is combating bullying through a new book titled Playground that takes a look at school taunting through the eyes of the bully. He admitted that while he was generally the one doing the teasing in school, having a retrospective look allows him to realize “that was completely wrong,” and understand the motivations, he told the TODAY show last month.

Like Jackson, supermodel and TV personality Tyra Banks was what she calls a “mean girl” when she was in school, but later became a bullying victim, and has called on fans to join her and the battle against bullying.

In the wake of the death of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, Lady Gaga has called for a legal end to bullying, though investigators said last week that no charges would be filed in the case. Rodemeyer took his own life Sept. 18 allegedly as a result of relentless online and in-school peer bullying.

Watch the rest of Stodden’s message above.

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Father who set up anti-gay-bullying campaign after son’s suicide found dead

4 Dec

A father who campaigned against homophobic bullying after his son killed himself amid rumours that he was gay has been found dead.

Earlier this month Roger Crouch, 55, who launched a Facebook campaign after 15-year-old Dominic leapt off a roof after apparently kissing a boy for a dare, was named “hero of the year” by the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewall, beating the likes of Lady Gaga and Joan Armatrading.

He was pronounced dead after Gloucestershire police went to his home in Gretton, near Cheltenham, on Monday following “concerns for the welfare of a man at the address”.

A police spokesperson said on Thursday that they were not treating his death as suspicious and that the coroner had been informed.

Crouch, who was clerk of Stow-on-the-Wold town council in the Cotswolds, was also a patron for Diversity Role Models, a charity campaigning against homophobic bullying. He lobbied schools to ensure anti-bullying policies are used and argued young people should be taught coping strategies, and visited the House of Commons to tell MPs what they could do about bullying.

Crouch’s wife, Paola, wrote of her and daughter Giulia’s heartbreak on the Facebook group she and Crouch created. She posted: “The changes you have started for young people everywhere, the work you have done against bullying, will remain as a towering monument to you.”

Dominic leapt from the roof of a six-storey building near his private school, St Edwards in Cheltenham, in May last year. The inquest into his death heard that there had been rumours he might be gay after he was said to have kissed a boy during a spin-the-bottle game.

The inquest recorded a verdict of suicide, and his son’s death prompted Crouch to begin his campaign against bullying.

Crouch said at the time: “It is clear that the banter and rumours were based on Dom’s alleged sexuality. Some maintain that mystery still surrounds Dominic’s death. There’s no real mystery around why Dom was driven to take his own life.

“He was desperate that his happiness after the residential trip was punctured by rumours and being the butt of jokes. Over a single morning he felt he went from hero to zero. The real tragedy is not just that he died. It’s that his death was preventable.”

After receiving the Stonewall award last month, Crouch said: “I see this as an award for Dom. By choosing us for this award you’ve also chosen to take a stand alongside all the young people whose lives have been ended by bullying.

“We are parents who loved our son. We stood by him in life and we stand by him in death.”

A spokesman for Stonewall said: “His tireless campaigning against bullying following the death of his son was an inspiration.”

Joanne Dunning, of the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, said: “It seemed like he was only just getting the recognition he deserved for his anti-bullying work.”


Letter: Extend no-bullying law to teachers, too

4 Dec

Voice: Kylene Frank, Mt. Pleasant

As a college student studying social work, I’ve had to look over multiple policies in my classes. One policy in particular has caught my attention. Michigan as well as other states have formed a policy that prohibits bullying or harassment in the schools. The policy clearly states what the board believes harassment and bullying are defined as. The definition given of harassment and bullying is the abuse of one or more pupils inflicted on another pupil. Why is the definition strictly based on the students bullying each other?

Even though I am not a parent, I still have concern for those who are. This policy should not only include the bullying and harassment between students, but also between teachers and students. The policy does imply that faculty should demonstrate appropriate behavior but it does not include the faculty in the definition of what bullying and harassment in the school system is or what correct disciplinary actions should be used if a teacher is the one harassing a student.

There have been cases where a child has been harassed and bullied by a teacher and it’s almost as if they only get a slap on the wrist for it. 

Even though this policy has gone through major debate in the past, I think it’s time to look at the picture even bigger, and bring it back to be reformed. Bullying and harassment is bad enough between students, but it’s even worse for teachers and other faculty members to display this type of behavior as well toward their students.


Adult bullying at schools a rising concern – Sun

4 Dec

The school bully you thought you knew now has company. It’s the principal, the teacher, and even parents who are making life miserable for others and threatening student achievement.

Although student bullying remains a regular threat, cases of adult-to-adult or workplace bullying in schools are increasing in Broward and Palm Beach counties, and across the nation, according to teacher unions.

Pressure from new education laws and continuing stress over the weak economy are to blame for people on campus repeatedly attacking others with words and fists, experts say.

“As you see families falling apart they come to school as adults with a lot of frustration,” said Jerry Newberry, director of National Education Association’s Health Information Network. “Not so much because they are upset with their school, but upset with their life.”

Adult bullying typically takes on the same forms of student bullying, with pervasive actions and behaviors such as teasing, intimidation, physical violence, and sexual, religious or racial harassment.

But unlike cases in factories or business offices, workplace bullying of teachers has the potential to bring down a whole classroom of students along with the victim.

“If a teacher is so demoralized, they might even give up and do their job without motivation,” said Debra Wilhelm, president of the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association. “That definitely has effects on students.”

Along with the academic fallout, students may see adults bullying each other and mimic them, making matters even worse. For all of these reasons, employee unions are pressing management for stronger anti-harassment protections and crackdowns on offenders.

Keith Oswald, Palm Beach County schools’ assistant superintendent for safety, culture, and learning environment, recently proposed a series of staff training programs for campuses with reported problems.

Stress levels are soaring, he says, citing factors such as a completely revamped teacher evaluation system required by the state, and personal financial worries.

“We don’t want people going to work feeling like they are going to be attacked by anybody,” he said. “We have to work to solve these issues. We have to give people coping skills to handle that stress more effectively.”

Even before the economy tanked and state education laws were changed, teachers encountered bullying principals, said Ralph Eckhardt, a Broward Teachers Union representative.

“Some people just don’t know how to manage,” he said.

Six years ago, negotiations between the union and district resulted in strong contract terms that defined “bullying/harassment” and established a process for reviewing complaints about “dehumanizing” gestures and other acts by administrators. There’s also a reference about stopping “upbraiding, insults or interference by a parent” against an employee.

As a result, Broward schools became a national leader in targeting workplace bullying, Eckhardt said.

“We still have a lot of problems,” he said, adding that most verified cases are resolved quietly with either the victim or the bully transferring locations.

Palm Beach County teachers’ contract does not mention worker bullying, but there is a clause about discrimination and harassment that addresses similar issues.

“Employees should be free from unnecessary, spiteful or negative criticism or complaints by management representatives,” it states.

The number of teacher and employee bullying cases is unclear because districts are not required to keep such data. Broward Teachers Union estimates there are up to six complaints per year; the Classroom Teachers Association in Palm Beach County hasn’t placed a number on it, but says an accurate count may be difficult since some of its members fear retaliation for complaining about principals.

“So many people are under so much stress,” Wilhelm said. “You can only take so much.”

mjfreeman@tribune.com or 561-243-6642


Bullying widespread in Australian media, services and security industry

4 Dec

Bullying widespread in Australian media, services and security industry

Bullying widespread in Australian media, services and security industry

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by mediamanoz

Bullying by people in positions of authority, trust and co-workers in the Australian media, services and security industry is much higher that most people would imagine.

Often the bullying is part of a bigger picture, sometimes involving professional jealousy, career and business sabotage, sexism and a range of other nasties.

How do I know?. My close friend, a media worker, has been a victim of this for almost two years, and this terrible crime is not uncommon at all in the media, services and security industry. The “bsation” you hear about in the Australian defence force only gives the public a small inkling of what happens all too much in the Australian workplace.

In this instance, workplace and civil laws have been broken by a so called public relations company and a very small group of photographers (who have also bullied and conspired against a media worker).

Some workers have even committed suicide, such as the case with waitress Brodie Panlock, who took her own life in 2006 after being continually bullied at work.

The bullying can also take its toll on the families and friends of those who are victim, with those who are close to the victim also feeling like the attack is also directed at them.

Sometimes bullying (including career and business sabotage and discrimination) can be difficult to detect or prove. Fortunately in the case I know about, “Ava” (not her real name) has been building up evidence of the bullying, harassment, racism, sexism and business sabotage for many months, and now has enough evidence that will take the perpetrator to the cleaners via the Australian legal system. She also has a complaint lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission, along with a number of witnesses, myself just being one of them.

Sometimes bullying occurs between individuals or groups of workers out of sight of a manager, even outside of work hours. Morale and income / productivity is effected. Sometimes there can even be confusion about the correct action witnesses to co-worker bullying should take.

Spot The Workplace Bully…

Workplace bullying is loosely de­fined as the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent, unrea­sonable, threatening, humiliating or aggressive behaviour against a co-worker, either directly or indirectly. Some identified examples include verbal abuse and or name calling, spreading of rumours or innuendo, interference with property or equip­ment, excessive or unjustified criti­cism or scrutiny, deliberate exclusion or denials, and sabotaging work performance. All of these things, and more undesirable workplace actions have happened to “Ava”.

These examples are to be differentiated from mere uncomfort­able experiences arising in a work­place. Personality clashes, differences of opinion or task related conflicts will generally not amount to bully­ing, nor will a single incident of un­reasonable behaviour between em­ployees (though it is recommended appropriate action be taken to ad­dress the behaviour). In the instance I am close to, about half a dozen different incidences have occurred, and there are consistencies in the bullying, as well as now strong evidence of it, plus witnesses at the ready.

Fair and reasonable management action or direction will generally not be considered bullying. This includes direction of work, monitor­ing of employee performance and setting performance standards and review, which may include negative feedback, indications of unsatisfac­tory work or the instigation of a per­formance management process.

The Business And Human Costs…

Workplace bullying can be a toxic cancer to a business causing high staff turnover, absenteeism, low morale and re­duced productivity. It can also expose an employer to bigger financial risks including the possibili­ty of workers’ compensation claims, legal action or substantial fines for breaches of workplace health and safety legislative obligations.

Each state based occupational health and safety legislation identifies an employer’s duty to provide a work environment that is safe, and free from risks to the health and wellbeing of employees. Workplace bullying has the potential to risk employee well be­ing stemming from feelings of humil­iation, stress, anxiety and their asso­ciated physical symptoms. Where practicable, em­ployers should seek to implement measures which reduce or eliminate the possibility of workplace bullying and associated harm, taking proac­tive approaches to reduce the risk of bullying. Possible action includes preemptive assessments of possible bullying risk factors in the work­place, development of a formal workplace bullying policy and for­mal procedures to address a work­place bullying complaint.

Respond To The Bully!…

In the event of a claim of bullying by a co-worker, an employer should in the first instance seek to act accord­ing to an established company bully­ing or occupational health and safe­ty procedure. If no formal procedure is developed, state legislation may re­quire the employer follow a default procedure as identified in state occupational health and safety legisla­tion.

If there’s a complaint there are principles to follow. Firstly each complaint should be taken seriously and action should be prompt. Sec­ondly the employer should approach the situation with neutrality, provide support and ensure fairness of process for all parties involved. Doc­umentation and communication with parties is also essential, howev­er an employer should ensure confi­dentiality, especially where request­ed by the accuser.

Co-worker bullying, though be­tween employees as individuals, is an issue that holds great employer re­sponsibility. Due to the scope of an employer’s duty to ensure a work­place free from harm, an employer will need to ensure suitable pre-emp­tive action to reduce possible risks of bullying, and in the case of a claim of co-worker bullying ensure appro­priate process in order to avoid ex­posure to breach of occupational health and safety obligations. In some cases its best that one of the parties leave the workplace or industry, either by their own will, or if need be – an enforceable legal action type scenario.

Some Bullying Is Workplace Is Ignored – Until It’s Too Late; Bullies May Get Dose Of Own Medicine In Revenge Actions From Family And Friends…

Some friends and families of those who got bullied at work are sometimes becoming so frustrated with lack or real action that they are taking action into the own hands. In layman’s terms, this can mean that the bully gets out-bullied – beaten convincingly at his or her own game. This has happened to at least one Sydney based media worker in the past couple of months. The bully is seldom seen at work anymore, having got a solid taste of his own medicine. Some smart co-workers of the media bully realised the bully was beaten at their own game, and stopped their own bullying actions against the initial victim of the workplace bullying.

Crying “workplace bully” has become almost so popular now that not all reports are taken as seriously as they should be. Some misguided workplace-bullying complaints are increasing so dramatically that workplace regulators are concerned genuine victims are being overlooked.

Unions, regulators and complaints tribunals report that workplace bullying complaints have tripled or even quadrupled in recent years. Most reported incidents turn out to be minor personality clashes or disputes over other issues.

We obtained some data that shows more than 60% of the 2080 complaints lodged with WorkCover, the NSW government’s workplace inspector, in 2010-11 were rejected or withdrawn, and only a handful were deemed serious enough to warrant possible prosecution. Little wonder some families and friends of those being bullied are known to take action into their own hands.

WorkCover reports that bullying complaints have more than quadrupled in three years.

Workcover NSW receives an average of 360 bullying calls a month, nearly 50% above the rate of 4 years back, and calls to the Australian Human Rights Commission have nearly tripled since 2005.

The alarming rise in bullying claims reported by WorkCover and other organisations appears to contradict the Productivity Commission, which last year reported “significant declines” in such claims.

But the commission’s data measured successful compensation claims, whereas most complaints flooding into WorkCover and other organisations never progress to compensation. The case this writer is close to appears destined for the courts and the victim has strong evidence to back up the claim.

What May Be The Solution To Workplace Bullying?…

A number of things – tougher laws, stronger workplace measures, and severe financial penalties to bullies and those who protect them. Then of course some say that the only language that a bully understands is to have bullying occur to them. Not to condone it, but here’s an interesting analogy – in some parts of the U.S criminals that have killed are executed by electric chair, as to ensure they don’t do it again. Some of course go to jail, where beatings and harassment are just par for the course, so they usually get a taste of their own medicine sooner or later. Often correctional centres do not in fact cure the criminal, they rather act as a training ground to become a better criminal.

Can You Reform A Bully Or Serial Harasser?…

No names, but it’s well known that in Sydney a a serial bully who was a part time media worker, was consistently harassing another media worker, and getting away with it (for a while), until the bully met his match. A bigger, tougher fellow, who didn’t like what was happening to the media worker how was being bullied. The bully got a taste of his own medicine, and surprise not – the bullying from that individual ceased. Sadly, those in the know generally think that a current case of workplace bulling in the Australian media industry is not going to stop until the perpetrator cops a massive legal suit that includes harassment, assault and business sabotage, along with a healthy dose of copping a taste of their own medicine. Just like some sexual abusers of children, the only sort of cure that is guaranteed to work will be a chemical castration or electric chair type scenario. Insiders in the Australian media bullying situation have whispers going around that the media bully needs to be sent out of business, blackballed, and then be in line for some street justice, to help ensure they don’t further re-offend, Only a total solution can ensure that the workplace remain a enjoyable and safe place for the rest of us.

Here’s to ridding the Australian workplace of bullies – both by the book using our legal system, and many surveyed would also suggest with a touch of street justice on the side. I sure wouldn’t want to be a particular Sydney based media and publicity events worker at the moment. Their days appeared numbered, and we hear that hundreds of other Australian media workers can’t wait for them to be sent bankrupt, publicly named and shamed, and kicked to the curb of the media industry, of which they are one of the most despised media workers in the history of the Australian media industry. The Department of Human Rights and high level legal eagles know about your actions, as do a few good and pissed of media folks in Sydney, who have a few ideas of their own as to what to do to the bully to ensure 100% that they will never re-offend again.

Sydney media bully – I wouldn’t want to be in your position at the moment. Your days in the Australian media business are numbered, and I am delighted that I am just one of multitudes of people that will be pleased to see you and your company removed from and otherwise pretty good Aussie news media industry.

*The writer is a media consultant and publisher, and the director of Media Man News.


Australian Human Rights Commission www.humanrights.gov.au

Workcover NSW www.workcover.nsw.gov.au

Media, Entertainment Arts Alliance www.alliance.org.au

Media Man News www.mediamannews.com

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Quebec teen bullying victim laid to rest

4 Dec

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These photos of Marjorie Raymond were taken from Facebook. (Nov. 30, 2011)


These photos of Marjorie Raymond were taken from Facebook. (Nov. 30, 2011)

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The Canadian Press

Date: Sat. Dec. 3 2011 9:46 PM ET

MONTREAL — Friends and family of a 15-year-old girl who killed herself after being apparently bullied by classmates gathered in Granby, Que. today for her funeral.

Marjorie Raymond took her own life on Nov. 28 in the tiny town of Ste-Anne-des-Monts, Que.

She told her mother in a suicide note that she couldn’t endure the physical and psychological abuse any longer.

Meanwhile a group in Montreal held an anti-bullying rally in an East End park.

The rally was organized by a local mother whose own son was also bullied at school.

It had already been planned before organizers learned of Raymond’s suicide.

Organizer Isabelle Marchand said they decided to dedicate the rally to her memory.

“We need to raise awareness about this issue together,” she said.

“I’ve organized this rally along with my son but we can’t change things alone.”

Marchand said it’s crucial that teachers and school administrators work with parents to eliminate bullying.

Raymond’s death has sparked outrage in Quebec and fuelled debate across the country about how to deal with the problem.

Her mother Chantal Larose has called for tougher laws to discourage bullying.

The recent suicide of 15-year-old Jamie Hubley, a boy who was targeted as an openly gay student at his Ottawa school, also touched a nerve.

Hubley’s death helped drive the Ontario government to introduce new anti-bullying legislation.

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Seven Year Old Kicks Bully; May Be Punished For Sexual Harassment

3 Dec

MASchoolBusHere’s what happened, apparently:

On the bus to Tynan Elementary School in Boston, seven-year-old Mark Curran was approached by a bully who wished to take his gloves. The bully began to strangle young Mark, who responded by kicking the bully in the balls. According to CBS Boston:

[Mark's mother, Tasha] Lynch described a phone call she received from the school explaining that the case will be treated like sexual harassment, due to what it considers inappropriate touching.

“‘Your son kicked a little boy in the testicles. We call that sexual harassment,’” Lynch said the school told her.

She said she’s been asked to attend a disciplinary hearing at the school Monday.

… “He’s 7 years old. He doesn’t know anything about sexual harassment,” [Lynch] said.

Of course, the other boy’s side of the story has yet to be told.

Posted 10:14 AM EST by Brandon K. Thorp in Bullying, Education, Massachusetts |


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  1. Uh… excuse me… it’s not sexual harassment, it’s called SELF DEFENSE. If someone is trying to strangle someone all bets are off and you do whatever the f#ck you need to do to get free. These school admins are MORONS. BTW, good for Mark Curran!

    Posted by: MikeH | Dec 3, 2011 10:28:18 AM

  2. let me see if I get this right…. strangling is okay, trying to steal someone’s gloves is okay, but kicking someone in the cojones is not?

    paging America, WTF?

    Posted by: V-8 | Dec 3, 2011 10:28:56 AM

  3. And strangling young Mark was NOT inappropriate touching? The school would have preferred Mark be strangled to death rather than defend himself?

    Kicking a bully in the balls is a perfectly acceptable act of self-defense as far as I’m concerned.

    What is the other boy’s side of the story: “He didn’t do what I wanted him to do, so I tried to kill him. Then he sexually harrassed me! I couldn’t believe what he did!”

    Yes, there’s more to this story. My guess is the bully has other victims, the school was aware of his bullying, and they did nothing about it.

    Posted by: james | Dec 3, 2011 10:31:00 AM

  4. Are you fooking kidding me?

    Posted by: Bobby | Dec 3, 2011 10:31:40 AM

  5. Good for him. I bet the bullies leave him alone after this.

    Posted by: Kenneth H. | Dec 3, 2011 10:34:46 AM

  6. Aside from the ludicrous sexual harassment thing, this isn’t unusual. People always say “fight back”, but when I did that I was always the one being punished. All the teachers allegedly saw was me fighting back and not what started it.

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 3, 2011 10:38:26 AM

  7. There is absolutely nothing sexual about a seven year old kicking another seven year old in the testicles. Perverse.

    Posted by: Kári Emil | Dec 3, 2011 10:47:54 AM

  8. This is why sexual harrassment claims go unheeded because of stupidity like this. Maybe they should shut down all self-defense programs, courses, karate schools, etc. in the state for teaching sexual harrassment.

    Oh, that’s right…sexual harrassment would actually imply that the act was, oh, I dunno, uhm, SEXUAL?!?!? Rather than I don’t want this guy’s hands around my friggin’ neck!?

    I hate stupidity. Especially when they are teaching our young people.

    Posted by: Bart | Dec 3, 2011 10:58:18 AM

  9. I can’t wait to see how the wing-nuts spin this. One the one hand, they always ridicule claims of sexual harassment when there is none (and even when there is). On the other hand, they always defend the alpha male. Let’s hope some heads explode over this one.

    Posted by: Jacques | Dec 3, 2011 11:14:32 AM

  10. Good for you, little Mark. I have no idea what your sexuality will turn out to be, but I am glad you have learned that standing up for yourself is the way to end bullying rather than whining about it like a little wuss. Hopefully, we will see a new generation of gay men who actually act like men rather than like little girls, which would be a refreshing change indeed.

    Posted by: Rick | Dec 3, 2011 11:14:35 AM

  11. What is it about the position of authority in a public school that automatically turns one into a complete moron with no common sense?

    Has anyone else noticed how unbelievably stupid administrators in public schools seem to be?

    Posted by: Jack | Dec 3, 2011 11:25:20 AM

  12. Police rape prevention experts TELL YOU to kick an attacker in the nuts. Maybe the boy thought he was going to be sodomized (prove he didn’t, school district).

    Ms. Lynch should not attend the meeting, but should send a lawyer instead. It would suddenly become “a misunderstanding”.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Dec 3, 2011 11:26:16 AM

  13. Perhaps the young man should carry pepper spray. If questioned he could say he was just bring competitive.

    Posted by: Gigi | Dec 3, 2011 12:03:04 PM

  14. Adn TSA strip-searchiing a 95yo lady with a walker at JFK.

    WTF is going on in this country?

    Posted by: Danny | Dec 3, 2011 12:08:07 PM

  15. Good for Mark! That’s similar to what I had to do to get the bullies to leave me the hell alone. Only I actually got into a fist fight with one of them. There needs to be MORE of that.

    Posted by: Doc Marten | Dec 3, 2011 12:17:18 PM

  16. Personally, I think what the school is doing is sexual harassment. To turn what, in the 7-year-old’s mind, was an act of self-defense into an act of sex seems perverse and on the verge of psychological abuse of a child.

    Posted by: William | Dec 3, 2011 1:35:27 PM

  17. I hope that the school doesn’t condone bullying.and thievery. I know this story is focused on one aspect of this, but there was an assault and attempted robbery that occurred; where criminal charges brought against the other boy? And if you’re going to trump up a kick to the groin to sexual assault, you have to trump up the assault to attempted murder. If I were Ms. Lynch, I would threaten the school with defamation charges; given the school is so eager to call self-defense “sexual assault,” I have no doubt the school has already put “Sexually assaulted another boy” into his permanent record, not to mention that it appears gone public with the alleged assault.

    Also Anastasia, police tell people to go for the eye, throat, or groin of an assailant during any crime, especially ones where you feel your life is endangered, not just sexual assault.

    Posted by: Garst | Dec 3, 2011 1:40:14 PM


    Posted by: Rusty | Dec 3, 2011 1:59:31 PM

  19. And there you have how Idiocracy (the movie) is getting real.

    Posted by: Lexxvs | Dec 3, 2011 2:01:36 PM

  20. This seems to be a little CYA on the school’s part. Otherwise over litigious parents of this poor little misunderstood snowflake will comeback and sue the school for allowing this mean kid to touch their innocent one’s special place. Their little baby would never do anything so horrible as pick on another kid. Clearly this ball kicker is spreading scurrilous lies to besmirch the spotless reputation of this future world leader.

    Posted by: Adam | Dec 3, 2011 3:10:35 PM

  21. time to stomp the principal’s testicles.

    Posted by: frank | Dec 3, 2011 4:25:28 PM

  22. RICK, what do you mean by “act like men”?

    Your ass is still Closeted. is that “manly”? to be so afraid of how people will think about you, since you’re gay, that you’re too terrified to be Out?

    C’mon, prove me wrong. we’re all waiting for it, RICK.

    post the URL to your own page or youtube video where you show us all what a strong manly masculine empowered Gay Man you are.

    prove it. show us. post the URL. we’re waiting.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 3, 2011 4:33:27 PM

  23. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | Dec 3, 2011 4:59:08 PM

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Anti-bullying march at Maisonneuve Park in memory of Marjorie Raymond

3 Dec

MONTREAL – As family and friends buried 15-year-old Marjorie Raymond in Granby Saturday afternoon, more than a hundred marchers calling for an end to teen bullying held a demonstration in Maisonneuve Park.

The Montreal march, which had been planned weeks ago, was dedicated to the memory of Raymond, who committed suicide Monday after three years of bullying at her high school in the Gaspésie. In her suicide note, Raymond asked that she be buried in her hometown and laid to rest next to her grandfather.

Raymond’s mother, Chantal Larose, addressed the media after the service. In a shaky voice, she said she hoped “the worst thing that could happen to a mother� would serve a greater purpose for other teenagers and their families.

“I’m happy to see that people have been shaken by this,� she said. “I think it has woken up a lot of people to the situation that exists. But it’s not up to me to make the change. It’s up to the ensemble to make sure this problem is acted upon.�

Larose has been outspoken in the days following her daughter’s death, saying she wants it to serve as a warning call so that her family’s tragedy will not have been in vain. The issues of teen suicide and bullying garnered nationwide coverage in the wake of Raymond’s death.

“I’m sure things will change,� Larose said. “It can’t stay the same after the act that my daugher committed.�

The Montreal march was organized by 13-year-old Maxime Collard, a victim of bullying, and his mother Isabelle Marchand.

“This must stop, and we must be certain that what happened to Marjorie doesn’t happen to others,� said Collard, who considered taking his life after months of being pushed into the mud and pelted with rocks at his school.

Collard chose instead to bring attention to the problem. He and his mother organized a march in his hometown of Sorel-Tracy attended by hundreds, including local politicians. They have organized several marches and spoken widely about the issue. On Nov. 29th, they were awarded the Paul Gerin-Lajoie prize from the Tolerance Foundation for their efforts.

Another march was planned for Sunday, in the Saguenay.


Durban talks progress as hosts urge Canada not to bully

3 Dec

DURBAN, South Africa — Signs of progress emerged Saturday at international climate change negotiations as thousands took to the streets urging global leaders to step up their efforts.

The demonstration came one day after China indicated it was considering joining a “legally binding� deal to reduce emissions. At the same time, the conference also received a draft text that offered different options for negotiators for achieving a $100-billion-per-year green fund by 2020 to help developing countries tackle the causes and impacts of global warming.

Developed countries have pledged to offer “fast-start� financing over the first few years, but the text suggested new taxes in shipping and aviation as other options to consider.

Canada already pledged about $1.2 billion over three years to help kick-start the fund, Environment Minister Peter Kent had said before the conference got underway.

But the host country of the conference also urged Canada to reconsider turning its back on the Kyoto Protocol, suggesting Kent was “bullying� poorer countries to support the Canadian government’s anti-Kyoto Protocol stance.

Kent has described Kyoto as an agreement of the “past� and that Canada, as with Japan and Russia, will not take on new targets beyond the existing commitment period that ends in 2012.

Mohau Pheko, South Africa’s high commissioner to Canada, said she was particularly disturbed by Kent’s recent suggestions that he would take a hard line approach against developing nations and challenge founding principles of the existing international climate change agreements that require developed countries to take responsibility for causing the environmental threat over the past 150 years.

“That’s bullying,� she said in a wide-ranging interview with Postmedia News in Ottawa. “How does a developed country say something like that? That is absolute bullying in the system. You don’t do that.�

She said her country has been approached by other nations in vulnerable positions that have been lobbied by Canada to leave the treaty.

“We must also recall that many of things are linked to aid packages and there’s arm-twisting,� she said.

Pheko, echoing comments from other emerging economies such as Brazil, suggested it would be more practical to fix problematic elements of the Kyoto agreement rather than starting from scratch on a new deal.

“It’s our job to come in and restructure it as we see fit,� she said. “But to lobby other countries to pull out of the instrument and leave nothing in place is far more dangerous.�

She said extending the treaty also would encourage reductions in industrialized countries to continue as international negotiators work on building a more comprehensive agreement that resolves major concerns.

“That way, it buys us enough time to fix these issues and to put in place, properly, agreed ways of what we mean when we say a legally binding agreement should mean the same thing.�

Pheko said South African government officials also have asked Canada to be more transparent about its national concerns and objectives, beyond its existing public skepticism about emissions from major economies such as China, the U.S. and India.

Although she said the Canadian government in recent years has acted like a “brat� that pulls out of multilateral discussions when it doesn’t get its way, she said her government still has faith Canada will re-engage with the international community.

“Canada for us, is not a lost cause, despite all the speculation,� she said. “We believe that the system works when we are at the table and it’s better to come to the table with your problems and allow other parties to listen. And what we’re going to create is an environment that enables everyone to listen to your issues.

Kent is expected to join the negotiations in Durban up until the conference wraps up on Friday.




Bullied kids turn to martial arts

3 Dec


The majority of parents are worried their children will be bullied at school.
Source: Supplied

BULLIED children are turning to martial arts to combat classroom thugs – and coming out on top in other areas.

Sobukan Martial Arts director Chris Gillies, of Mitcham, said children who trained in martial arts learnt techniques to avoid bullying behaviour.

“A lot of the reasons people get bullied is they don’t have high self esteem or confidence,” he said.

“Martial arts give them confidence and the ability to walk away.”

Mr Gillies said that in his 20 years of teaching martial arts in Australia and Japan, he had taught many bullied children.

“Through martial arts, children become familiar with consequences, and they learn about power relationships,” he said.

Sixteen-year-old Angelo Belmonte, who has an intellectual disability, had been bullied in violent attacks his entire school life, until he started to learn the Korean style of tang soo do at the International Combative Martial Arts Academy in March.

His mother Pina Belmonte said the training had improved Angelo’s problem-solving, memory, balance and confidence.

“He hasn’t used the actual martial arts (at school), but it has helped his confidence,” she said.