Editor’s note – This article was originally written before the tragic news of Port Coquitlam teen Amanda Todd’s suicide. In its wake, this story is even more important. If you’re struggling to come to grips with how we can confront bullying, we hope you’ll consider taking advantage of this free event.
October is anti-bullying month. Unfortunately, almost everyone has been affected by bullying in some way or another. Perhaps you were bullied as a child or maybe you are worried that your child is being bullied. If you are at a loss of what to do, you might want to attend the screening of the BC made documentary How to Help: A Youth Perspective on Bullying. It will be shown at the Terry Fox Theatre in Port Coquitlam on October 24, 2012. This event is being presented by the Canadian Red Cross and the Joint Family Court and Youth Justice Committee and is for all parents, students, educators or anyone else who wants to learn more about bullying prevention.
BC Made Documentary
British Columbia’s Canadian Red Cross RespectED team directed this film. The Red Cross RespectED program provides programs that focus on education to help prevent abuse and bullying. Staff and students that are involved in this bullying prevention program were also involved in this documentary project. Local, bullied youth courageously chose to be filmed, telling their stories and giving their perspective of what one can do at home to help support a bullied child. The goal of this BC made documentary was to open up dialogue between families, communities, schools and anyone else interested in figuring out how to put an end to bullying.
How to Help: A Youth Perspective on Bullying
If you want to get a feel for the documentary, watch this trailer:
Getting the Community Talking
This Port Coquitlam event will not only involve the screening of the short documentary, How to Help: A Youth Perspective on Bullying, but it will also walk-the-talk and provide an open dialogue session after the screening. Do you have a question or perhaps a suggestion to share? Do you want to quietly sit and listen to ideas and solutions and feel like a sense of community where you are not alone in dealing with this difficult problem? They will have an expert panel to help with the discussion. Author of Bully Beware Cindi Seddon will be the Panel Chair. Joining her from the UBC Department of Education and Counselling Psychology and Special Education will be Dr. Shelley Hymel and Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl. Also on the panel will be Dr. Brenda Morrison who is the Co-Director for the Centre of Restorative Justice at SFU, Dr. Aaron White, a School Psychologist/District Counsellor with Student Support Services and Jim Mandelin a Youth Advocate, Author and Public Speaker.
BC Statistics on Bullying
The University of British Columbia did a study on bullying that was based on 490 students in grades eight to ten. The study showed that 64% of the students had been bullied, will 12% being bullied once or more per week. That study was done back in 1999, before social media was around. More recent research shows that 20% of kids in the Greater Vancouver Area have been cyber bullied. With platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it is making it even easier for kids to bully their peers. Online bullying is more anonymous and can often be hidden from parents. What are we to do?
Educate to Prevent Bullying
Do you think you have a child that’s being bullied? Sometimes the child won’t say anything even if they are. This Port Coquitlam event might be a good one for you and your child to attend together. Why not make it a night out and invite your child’s friends and parents along? It might open up some great discussions and help someone out in the process. Even if your child isn’t being bullied, it will give them tools down the road if they are ever confronted with a bully. You are not alone and community events like this are there to help people figure things out together. Take advantage of these opportunities and also show your support for the brave youth who took part in this project.
This is a free event but space is limited so reserve your seats online at Eventbrite (edit: this event is now sold out due to incredible demand) or at email@example.com. This two-hour event starts at 7:00pm on October 24, 2012.
For more information on how to end bullying, visit www.imaginenobullying.ca.
Terry Fox Theatre
1260 Riverwood Gate, Port Coquitlam