Friday, April 23, 2010

Bullycide! Suicide by Bullying!


Seems bullying and depression are 2 common factors throughout my life. So I went crazy promoting Pink Shirt Anti-bullying Day on the Sunshine Coast this year. One young man sent me a note not to "harass" him about pink shirt day next year!

Maybe I got a little to exuberant? We did have almost 600 people join the event page I created on facebook though and the local newspapers and businesses picked up on press releases I sent expressing the important of promoting tolerance and kindness. Just the other night a couple of drunk teen boys chatted with me on facebook using some pretty cruel and threatening comments.

When I saw the post and video about Bullycide it struck a nerve so I shared it with my facebook friends. I am still struggling with years of an emotional abusive bullying relationship, and worse, how many people still stand by the bully!

Secretly I have been feeling that at least one of them will have an EXCLUSIVE headline that their actions killed Duane.

Here is the text, comments and posts from the facebook conversation:

Duane Burnett
Suicide by bullying. Pink Shirt Day Anti-Bullying Sunshine Coast, BC
I know these kids pain. I have lost decades of my life from severe depression caused by bullying in school, from my former employer, the work place, society and here on facebook too. "Studies show that youth who are bullied are five times more likely to be depressed and to report suicidal thoughts. LGBT children and those who are perceived to be gay, lesbian or challenge traditional gender roles are among those most
likely to be targeted by bullies. In this look at the most tragic outcome for kids tormented by kids, we meet heartbroken families fighting for federal legislation to protect their children."

SEE VIDEO from In The Life >>
"Studies show that youth who are bullied are five times more likely to be depressed and to report suicidal thoughts. LGBT children and those who are perceived to be gay, lesbian or challenge traditional gender roles are among those most likely to be targeted by bullies. In this look at the most tragic outcome for kids tormented by kids, we meet heartbroken families fighting for federal legislation to protect their children."

11 "likes" 22 Comments

Ian MacLeod
thanks for posting Duane.

Kristina Civitarese
i don't even understand bullying - who are these kids' parents? what are we teaching our kids? how sad!!

Duane Burnett
If you watch MuchMusic for example, they have entire shows based solely on trashing people. A fine example of gladiator entertainment 4 the kids.

Christina Foster
That is one of the reasons why I dont watch tv anymore! Its complete trash!!

Joy Thomson
Don't watch shows like Springer or Maury and a host of other ones like them 'cause they are toxic.

Ian MacLeod
bullies and abusers - both usually have had it done to them - bravo to those that 'break the chain'.

Melanie Rose
you are awsome Duane...I love how you have turned your past into the a good way! Using your voice helps everyone! xo

Julia Hill
Huge percentage of abusers are people in our communities in positions of authority and trust which makes the victim more vulnerable and un-believed. These bullies are actually showing future perpetrators the "how-to's" of bullying. A terrible vicious circle.

Cheryl McNevin Baron
Now who would want to bully you? Lucky for them I wasn't around....

Darlene L Nelson
well I was bully by kids in school and I know what it feel like to be bully kids in Schools I think it should be stop mean kids to bully more kids in School and it is not right for bully kids in School at all

PinkSaphire BlackDiamond
I was bullied in school... :/

Terri Bissett-Page
here here baby...

Heather Doré
It often starts in the schoolyard, then once your self-confidence is totally stripped, it enters your relationships, then as an adult, you find it, once again in the workplace ...only the victims understand how devastating bullying truly is to all aspects of your life.
It makes me sick thinking about the lack of parenting and discipline - what kind... See More of parents could possibly breed such hatred ?
You can forgive, but you never forget the taunting words, the insults, the physical abuse ... and you feel as though you may never look in the mirror in your whole life and like what you see. People may compliment you, but you can't believe them - it's very sad.

Duane Burnett
thanks for everyone's comments. just the other night a few drunk teen boys took some cruel verbal swipes at me on fb. The years of bullying and emotional abuse just seems to make me more compassionate, more forgiving, giving, caring, and understanding of people and to see through to their hearts and past their ego's. But I can't lie that my days ... See Moreare often filled with depression that I try to fill with the light of the universe and balance through helping the community and being of service and purpose. Wishing all of you Love, Peace, Joy and Abundance in every moment of your being.

PinkSaphire BlackDiamond
Duane, you're both sweet and strong for sharing your own personal experiences.

Marcy Solis de Ovando
True that!
Bullying is a curse handed down by broken people to breaking people. I suffered much bullying at the hands of my brother and cousin in a Latin country where boys could do no wrong, till this day there's been no apology or even acknowledgment of any of it... It was terrible and took a lot of work on my behalf to get over it and learn from... See More it but that process has made me all the things you mention above Duane and much more. I don't wish it on anyone but in the end it's sad but true to say that in my case it turned out to be a gift in knowledge and strength.

Carole Sauve
Wow! All this info is quite impressive to me. I used to be bullied in elementary school (Gr. 1 to be in fact) by my husband's cousin. Nowadays, it's way worse than in those days. I've had one of my kids being bulllied throughout school both elementary and secondary. My child used to be bullied by people who were being bullied. In August, ... See More1999, he attended this retreat on Gambier Island that helped him a lot. He would tell me that the kids weren't bulllying him anymore, they were just bugging him. After they were gone to university and away from home, I started studying why young people act the way they act and it gave me a lot of self-confidence and self-esteem. What we need to do is to build up self-esteem in the victims of bullying so it could hopefully stop the bullying. Would be great if we could start a pilot project that would help those young people since the parents don't know what to do to help them. There is so much information in this world that can really help them, but most people are unaware. I love this kind of stuff. How would you feel if we can save those youngsters? Are they worth our attention? Frankly, they are the people of tomorrow who will be taking care of us when we're seniors. Let me know what you think. Take care, love you's all. ♥

Allen Snowdon
The sad truth is that "bullies" are themselves driven by fear.

Marcy Solis de Ovando
Education is the answer for sure.

Marianthi Cassidy
Education must sometimes be in the form of TOUGH punishment. Those that drive others to despair should be made accountable for it and the message of never-do-it-again has to be driven deep.

Rob Thomson
More than just education is needed. The message is only as effective as is the reception.We need a societal overhaul to eliminate gender prejudice in any form.

Marcy Solis de Ovando
Practiced education.

Sandy Sjollema
very important issues raised here....people who are mean and degrading are seen as "cool" somehow in the popular culture....bullies have a way of persuading others to side with them... and other people who witness bullying don't interfere because they want to protect themselves....

Rob Thomson
Duane - exuberance is you. Keep it so my friend.

Tom Talarico
a good read! thanks for sharing!

Jill-Marie Wilson
If everyone stayed silent then how would anything change? We have a problem right here in regards to this very issue, many of the kids you support have suffered at the hands of others... staying silent is only a way for people to turn their backs and pretend it isn't happening. SPEAK OUT AND SPEAK UP, don't ever let anyone make you feel like you shouldn't stand up for what is right Duane. You are an angel... keep your wings spread!

Terra Daniels
My daughter is bullied everyday and it breaks my heart. We have been left feeling like we don't have support in the schools even though we have had countless meetings with them. What can we do? It is a major issue here on the coast, seemingly more so than anywhere else we have lived. It's so frustrating to feel like we do.

Jill-Marie Wilson
People have no idea how true this is and how close to home it happens...

Christine Moore
At least he is now aware of pink shirt day!I think you do a great job!!!Thanks!

Jill-Marie Wilson
I am with you all the way Terra... been there and I agree, there is no support, even with all of the so-called 'no bulling' policies they say they have in place. It is all crap and they turn a blind eye for some stupid reason. I feel like I am supposed to start some sort of coalition of some kind...

Alicia Chandler
What a great idea! Bullying hurts so many people, it really frustrates me when parents encourage their kids to bully others!

Feral Sage
People are bullied for so many different reasons. Any difference can make you a target. I was bullied in school, oddly because I had different idea about how the world should be. Because I started reading when I was three years old and was reading books with "big ideas" at a very early age, I perceived the world differently than most other people ... See Morein school, and even than my teachers. (I had a bigger vocabulary than most of them, and loved the power of words to convey complex and nuanced ideas.) In grade eight, a girl started bullying me. It started with "little" things, like throwing my gym clothes out the window. It hurt a lot to be targeted, but I couldn't change who I was. I didn't hate her, and couldn't understand why she hated me

The following year I went to another school in my city, and had a pretty good year. Then, when I was 14, I went to a private school in a neighbouring city. Later in the year, that same girl was sent there because of what school administrators termed "adjustment problems." Because she needed help with reading, my teacher asked me to help her to catch up. I thought it might be a chance to make things right with her; but she resented me, and one day she and her gang (four girls and a boy) dragged me out of a store and beat me severely. She told me that if I told anyone, I would get an even worse beating.

My parents wanted to phone the police. I begged them not to. Instead I spoke to the boyfriend of a girl I had known in the previous school. He was already considered a "delinquent" (and is now serving a life sentence, with no possibility of parole until 2017, because of the infamous "three strikes" law in the States); but he liked me and had considerable influence among the crowd that the bully belonged to. He put out the word that anyone who bothered me would have to answer to him.

It worked, but school had become such an unpleasant thing for me that I ended up quitting school before graduation. I got married at 17 and had my first child seven months later. :-) I got my GED (without studying) and wished I could have taken the test when I was 14. It was only when I went to university (when I was 30) that I felt comfortable in an educational environment.

I think that school environments can be good for children who fit within the norms and expectations of those who set educational policy and the teachers who implement them. But they can be emotionally devastating for the "outliers," those who are different in certain ways ("too small," "too big," "too smart," "not smart enough," "shy or just perceiving the world differently). For some, home-schooling can be the answer. For others, perhaps an alternative school can provide a more supportive environment.

Ultimately, though, I think the solution lies in teaching children from the very start to respect everyone and to appreciate our differences. This will not happen in the context of "dog-eat-dog" competitiveness. No child should feel the need to prove himself or herself better or more powerful than others; but in today's world "excelling" is the underlying theme. If you're not the "best," you'll end up with a crappy, poorly-paid job and be disrespected. If you don't suck up to those with power, and look down of those "beneath" you in the hierarchy, you'll be pushed to the outside (and end up with a crappy, poorly-paid job and be disrespected). We need to get our priorities straight and work together to make the kind of world we want to live in.

Duane Burnett
Much appreciate everyone for participating in this discussion. I struggled hard with the message of Pink Shirt Day, in particular the "anti-bullying" part. I think its far better to be for something then against it. That is the best way for us to learn and society to grow.

PHOTO/STORY (C) Duane Burnett

VISIT Duane's Blogspot!

It's Always A Good Day on the Sunshine Coast! Peace... Duane


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