Time to stand up to bul­lies

Cape Breton Post - - Editorial -

I re­cently en­tered an on­line com­mu­nity group and be­came a wit­ness to a full-blown in­ci­dent of bul­ly­ing by an in­di­vid­ual with an axe to grind. There was no limit to her at­tack, even en­croach­ing on the char­ac­ter of one mem­ber’s young child.

The mem­bers of the site tried to use rea­son with her but to no avail. Feel­ing a bit in­censed I tried to put up a de­fence for the peo­ple be­ing at­tacked and be­came a fresh tar­get. The com­ments di­rected at me be­came out­ra­geous and defam­a­tory. It is hard to de­fend one­self against some­one who has no limit to what they say and have no line they fear to cross. The bully thrives in this on­line en­vi­ron­ment.

The pro­vin­cial cy­ber-bul­ly­ing law that was brought in a few years ago was struck down last year with the prov­ince promis­ing a new law this fall. So un­less there is a di­rect threat a per­son just has to suck it up un­less one wants to pur­sue a civil case.

So why is bul­ly­ing al­lowed to con­tinue? Why is the bully al­lowed to get away with­out reper­cus­sions for what he/she says or does. One of the rea­sons is be­cause the au­di­ence that the bully craves will not come to the vic­tim’s de­fence. And a bully sur­vives with an au­di­ence. But ei­ther be­cause of a lack of courage, or fear that the bully will turn their at­ten­tion to them, peo­ple be­come by­standers and do noth­ing.

And lets not be mis­taken. Bul­ly­ing takes place in all ar­eas of our lives. It’s not just in school, or on­line, but in the locker room and at work and among fam­i­lies.

It’s dif­fi­cult to tell chil­dren what to do if they are a wit­ness to bul­ly­ing. I tell my old­est child that if she is a wit­ness to bul­ly­ing to not give en­cour­age­ment to the bully. In­stead, give some sup­port to the vic­tim, tell an adult, tell your Mom and Dad what took place, or do some of the other things out­lined here https:// www.very­well.com/what-kidsshould-do-when-they-wit­ness­bul­ly­ing-460686

In the work­place it can be an even more com­pli­cated mat­ter. Some­times the bul­ly­ing isn’t ob­vi­ous to other peo­ple and the vic­tim may have lit­tle re­course. Be­ing a mere by­s­tander here shows ei­ther a com­plete lack of courage and/or a fail­ure to rec­og­nize what an in­di­vid­ual can do to make things harder on the bully and eas­ier for the vic­tim.

At work if the vic­tim does com­plain the bully can worsen the sit­u­a­tion. The vic­tim can be made out to be overly sen­si­tive or even men­tally ill, or that they just can’t take a joke. The bully may also try to win peo­ple over to his/her side by pre­sent­ing them­selves as the vic­tim in­stead. http://www. bul­lyfreeat­work.com/why-does­the-bully-get-away-with-it/

We are part of a col­lec­tive on this earth and as a col­lec­tive we need to de­fend peo­ple who are at­tacked, be­come vic­tims and are weak­ened be­cause of it. What kind of so­ci­ety are we if we al­low this be­hav­iour to con­tinue? Make your­self aware; read up on what you can do. There are al­ways op­tions. Don’t just stand there!

Bill Fian­der Syd­ney

I have lived on Park­wod Dr. in Syd­ney River for 35 years.

For most of that time – over 30 years – the street was peace­ful and quiet but over the last three years speeds have ranged any­where from 60km to 90km any time day or night.

What re­ally sur­prises me is that the speed­ers are of all ages, male and fe­male, and live on this street and sur­round­ing streets. Also, de­liv­ery trucks, taxis and vis­i­tors fol­low this speed­ing trend.

I am lucky, as my chil­dren are gone, but on this street there are sev­eral pre-school chil­dren, young school chil­dren and se­niors. My fear is that if they step off the curb, they will be killed.

I have had signs up and down the street say­ing ‘slow down, chil­dren play­ing’ or ‘you live here, too’ but this has not helped.

What I am ask­ing all of you is to re­spect our neigh­bour­hood and our chil­dren’s lives.

Please help. SLOW DOWN! Art Risk Syd­ney River

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