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DT: come reap
Posted on 2007.04.12 at 21:50
where am I: Pawtucket, bleak and chilly
How I feel about it all: touchedtouched
Tags: , ,
Dear Rick Mercer,

You know what I wish? I wish you'd been around back when I was in junior high. I could have used a kickass GBF like you to keep the cretins away.

Just when I think my adoration for you can go no higher, you get even more awesome.

What I'm saying basically is that you rock so hard the neighbours can't sleep. I'm just sayin'.

Even more love,

Me

"[F]or a lot of kids out there going to school doesn't rank right up there as the best days of their life. No, because they're different in some way, they look at it like some sort of prison sentence. And you can't blame them really. I mean you walk in the door when you're five years old, they keep you for twelve years, you're not allowed to leave. Cripes, in this country, you do less time for murder."





It Does Get Better


So last week was National Bullying Awareness Week in Canada. Now, for those of us long out of school, it's very tempting to treat that one like National Nutrition Week and just ignore it altogether. But unfortunately, if you Google "bully", "Canada" and "suicide" you'll get more hits than if you were searching for "Paris Hilton" and "hotel room".

And we're not talking about just one or two horror stories here - we're talking about hundreds. And the more you read these stories, the more you realize the greatest thing about being an adult is that no matter how bad things get you never have to go to grade nine ever again. Because for a lot of kids out there going to school doesn't rank right up there as the best days of their life. No, because they're different in some way, they look at it like some sort of prison sentence. And you can't blame them really. I mean you walk in the door when you're five years old, they keep you for twelve years, you're not allowed to leave. Cripes, in this country, you do less time for murder.

Now of course, the minute you leave school you immediately forget how bad it can be for some people. But you want to say to these kids who are being bullied, you know what? You're right. These are not the best days of your life, in fact, these are probably the worst. But after this, they get better, and then - believe it or not - they get great. Trust me: I'm one of the smartest guys I know.

And if you're being hassled because you're a geek, believe me - in a few years, you will inherit the earth. The biggest geek I went to school with was 76 pounds, he got hassled every day. The poor guy, he couldn't walk up a flight of steps without falling over to the left or getting a nosebleed. I have no idea how he got through it - in hindsight, he is the bravest man I know - and these days he's as happy as Larry. He runs a video game company in California. If I had his money, I'd burn mine.

And if you're being harassed in school because you're gay, believe me, in a few years you will have more friends than you know what to do with. You can be as open as you want. You'll be the funniest guy in the room and plus when you fly standby on Air Canada you'll get a free upgrade to business class because the guy behind the counter, he's gay too.

So if you're being bullied in school because you're different, please, tell someone about it, and remember, even in a real prison, eventually, everyone gets parole.


Original blog post is here.

I need a Rick Mercer icon, yes I do.

Comments:


Latter-day Jezebel
nmalfoy at 2007-12-05 04:04 (UTC) ()
The thing that gets me about bullying is that teachers just. don't. care. They see it, and they're aware of it, and often very subtly sort of encourage it. Parents just tell you to suck it up, or to talk to a teacher, which does no good. It sucks, but I learned the hard way that I was just going to have to suffer through school. That's a great post. He's absolutely right. I wish, though, that kids had someone in school who would actually do something. Because they don't.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2007-12-05 04:17 (UTC) ()
Parents just tell you to suck it up, or to talk to a teacher, which does no good. It sucks, but I learned the hard way that I was just going to have to suffer through school.

I think it's because parents really don't realise how bad it is. I couldn't have been loved more by my family, and I was still told to "grow a thick skin" and "boys will be boys" (and if that's the case, what was the girls' excuse?) and other platitudes like that. Even when parents are bullying survivors themselves, it's so far in the past for them that they don't see it any more. Or maybe that's all bullshit, because I sure do remember it.

My kids were raised that saying something unkind to another person was right up there with lying and stealing in Mom's Book of Bad Things. Sure, they rolled their eyes at me sometimes, but they listened because I wouldn't shut up about it, and also because they knew I'd been on the recieving end of the same sort of unkindness. If parents can just be shown exactly how damaging bullying is, maybe things will get better.

Things don't seem to have improved much since I was a kid; it's even worse, I think, because of the whole cyber-bullying thing.

Edited at 2007-12-05 04:17 (UTC)
Jess
aphephobia at 2007-12-05 06:20 (UTC) ()
Okay, I love this guy too.

I dropped out of school. Being the weird kid was one of the reasons for that, and seriously? Having a crap- job where I was treated like shit by customers and harrassed and bullied by my boss at 15 was FAR better than school: at least I got paid for it and I had a union. :) School was quite literally hell for me... I was quite serious when I threatened to try and blow the place up or off myself if I was made to stay there another year.

And yeah: no way in hell do I want my kids-- or any others-- having the same shit experience I did. I'm terrified of my sons coming to hate school because of some shithead in their class (and some shithead teachers not doing anything about it).

I tongued Hugh Dillon once.
callumvixen at 2007-12-05 06:21 (UTC) ()
i wish there was some easy solution. kids can be SO cruel. girls especially, since in my experience boys tend to settle things with physical violence, whereas girls tend to go for psychological bullying. my high school years were, by far, the worst years of my life. my parents had no idea anything was wrong because i was a straight-A student. even if i think now of the people who bullied me - and its been over 20 years - i still clench my fists. i dont wish that sort of mental anguish on anyone. GO RICK!!!!!!!
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2007-12-05 16:39 (UTC) ()
My high school years were my salvation, actually. It was grades 1-8, especially junior high that were the worst ones (which makes me in the minority; I'm pretty sure it's high school for most kids).

Girls are worse than boys because of the reasons you said. The physical stuff isn't nearly as damaging as cruel words can be. Whoever wrote that "sticks and stones can break my bones" adage was full of crap. :/

I don't clench my fists anymore, except to get angry that it's still done. I think the only leftover from my experiences is the transient paranoid feeling that people don't really like me even when they say they do. I know in my head it's not true, but the little kid part doesn't believe it sometimes.

I figure there's a reason what happened to me did, and maybe it's that I'm a little bit kinder than I would have been otherwise, a little more compassionate, a better parent. Also, I really would love to go into schools and tell my story to the kids, especially the ones who are being bullied now. And their parents, because like I said, if the parents aren't aware, nothing will change.

Rick Mercer is made of the awesomest awesome in awesomeland, no lie. His Spread the Net is very cool, as well. I really should have donated to them by now; I mean, ten bucks to save someone's life is a pretty fair exchange. :D
I tongued Hugh Dillon once.
callumvixen at 2007-12-06 00:01 (UTC) ()
it just frustrates me that it seems to be getting WORSE, not better. its such a shame. one of the biggest reasons i never had kids is because i didnt want to see what happened to me happen to anyone else. the high school thing set off several years of other stuff, none of which i would wish upon anyone.

im glad its made you more aware and a better parent. if there were more parents actively trying to change things, more parents who understood how damaging bullying is, more people willing to do something about it.... if only.

and rick should be King of Canada. or Prime Minister, at LEAST! *g*
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2007-12-06 00:25 (UTC) ()
Rick could be sorta king of Canada if he married Prince Charles, but Prince Consort's sorta second-rate, don'tya think?

Prime Minister would be all kinds of cool.

Edited at 2007-12-06 00:25 (UTC)
I tongued Hugh Dillon once.
callumvixen at 2007-12-06 00:30 (UTC) ()
Prince Consort? bleh!! *brainbleach*

Prime Minister. yes. *nods*
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2007-12-06 00:38 (UTC) ()
Definitely Prime Minister. And he already knows how to rant so Question Period would be a breeze.

Someone should start a petition. I'm not qualified since by some tragic accident of birth I'm sort of not Canadian.

*shows off shiny new icon that dragonflymuse made me*
I tongued Hugh Dillon once.
callumvixen at 2007-12-06 00:53 (UTC) ()
Question Period would actually be INTERESTING for once if he was there. *thinks about petition*

OOO *pets shiny new icon* whee!
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2007-12-06 05:55 (UTC) ()
I sorta like Question Period. Probably because we don't have one.

Petition. You know you wanna do it. :D



Edited at 2007-12-06 05:56 (UTC)
I Am Canadian
dragonflymuse at 2007-12-05 18:44 (UTC) ()

Voila


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting




I echo alot of the comments above. To this day, I am uncomfortable with friendly teasing, because of the bullying and name-calling from my school years.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2007-12-05 19:23 (UTC) ()

Re: Voila

To this day, I am uncomfortable with friendly teasing, because of the bullying and name-calling from my school years.

I'm very uncomfortable with it, unless I know and trust someone really well. I don't say anything when people do it, because it's not really their fault. Or mine, either, but still.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2007-12-05 20:24 (UTC) ()

Re: Voila

YOU ARE SO COOL. I was going to make one but I'm way too lazy-arsed these days. *dances you around* *runs off to upload*
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