Bullying is not cool

This is a constant daily battle since moving to this sleepy little town

This letter is to the teenage population of Campbell River and the parents of those individuals who think bullying is cool or the way to deal with people.

Our family moved here from the Lower Mainland last year to find peace and tranquility on Vancouver Island. Over there were shootings, stabbings, drugs, gang violence, just to name a few. We needed to get away from that mostly so our kids did not have to deal with it on a daily basis and to assure my husband and myself that our kids were going to make it home every day. We found the beauty of Campbell River outstanding, the air cool and clean and people even smiling and saying hello in the street. But here in this little community we are finding there is a dark side. That dark side being bullying.

Even before our kids started school there was rumours going around in the teenage community that there was new kids in town. Then it started. First it was shunning, then it graduated to name calling (in the hallway and school ground) , then came the cyber bullying and now phone calls saying “hey ___ f**k off and die.” Oh really! This wasn’t the first phone call.

This is a constant daily battle since moving to this sleepy little town. I have to ask do you kids always treat others this way? Do you treat your siblings or do you talk to your parents like this? Is this the way you treat the tourists that come into your town to spend their money? Have you been that ignorant all your life?

What I don’t understand is what do you get out of it? Does it make you feel powerful or cool in some way shape or form? All we want to do is live our lives in peace and blend in with our community. We work here, we volunteer, we get involved. Is that it? You don’t work or volunteer and it makes you look bad because we do? Come on people, really?

The teachers and counsellors at the school have done what they can but they do not see what goes on after. They have gone out of their way to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But once outside school then there isn’t much they can do. It helped for a while but once the so-called bullies found out who went to talk to the teachers, bang, started all over again but two fold.

My kids are not violent, they don’t look for fights, they don’t bully, if anything they protect those who do get bullied. Why don’t they? Because as a parent and a victim of bullying myself I will not allow it. It’s wrong, disgusting, ignorant, judgmental, sick, uncalled for, just to name a few things.

Perhaps the parents do not recognize the fact their kids are involved in this twisted game or perhaps some choose to ignore it. I don’t know but if they have any inkling at all then talk to your kids, make them understand that this is wrong and has got to stop. I have a pretty good idea who these kids are but my child will not divulge that information because of the repercussions. I have the phone number of the one who is harassing and telling where to go and how and I will, rest assured, be talking to his parents but where does it end? Come on people, this is not the dark ages and Neanderthals died out years ago.

Give people a chance to become part of the community. Just because someone wasn’t born and raised in Campbell River does not make them a bad person.

If anything, ignorance makes you the bad one.

Aileen Watkins

Campbell River