A video has emerged online of a Canadian schoolboy defending a schoolmate from being bullied by another student.
The video was posted online by the defenders mother, Melany Barrick, also criticised the school for not doing more to combat bullying and help the bullied student in the video and appears to have been filmed on school grounds.
While there has been no comment from the school on the video, it has been revealed that, Kévin, who was trying to protect the bullied student, was suspended for his actions in the incident and not the original bully, a consequence that Kevin’s mother also criticised the school for.
The posted video and backlash towards the school comes days after Pink Shirt Day, a Canada campaign to stop bullying, and is an excellent conversation starter, if there wasn’t already, to end bulling and why it is still a major issue in schools around the world, not just in Canada.
The Canadian schools Pink Shirt Day initiative, according to the website, was started in Nova Scotia and encourages people to, ‘…practice kindness on February 22, by wearing a CKNW Orphans’ Fund Official Pink Shirt, button, or pin to symbolize that you do not tolerate bulling’.
Furthermore, bullying, as defined by the Australian Human Rights Commission, is: “…when people repeatedly and intentionally use words or actions against someone or a group of people to cause distress and risk to their wellbeing”.
In a factsheet, the AHRC go on by saying: “These actions are usually done by people who have more influence or power over someone else, or who want to make someone else feel less powerful or helpless”.
Bullying is a major issue and this story further begs the question of why the school didn’t intervene during the incident, especially if they knew there was an issue beforehand, and why there appears to be a misplaced punishment.
The effects of bullying can also be quite lasting with the person or people who are bullied experiencing the following, also according to the AHRC fact sheet:
- Feeling guilty like it is your fault
- Feeling hopeless and stuck like you can’t get out of the situation
- Feeling alone, like there is no one to help you
- Feeling like you don’t fit in with the cool group
- Feeling depressed and rejected by your friends and other groups of people
- Feeling unsafe and afraid
- Feeling confused and stressed out wondering what to do and why this is happening to you
- Feeling ashamed that this is happening to you
Kévin’s mother Melany has praised her son’s actions as heroic and “taking a great risk” in defending a fellow student.