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Bullied teen feels schools could do more For most of the past four years, 14 year old Mylissa Black says she been bullied by a group of girls and boys at her Scarborough public school.
Mylissa said it started when she got to Birch Cliff Heights PS in Grade 4 and some of her peers started to pick on her red hair, the fact that she wears glasses and her chubbiness. been picked on because of my hair colour, I been called four eyes, geek, nerd. they call me fat, chubby and names of favourite stars who are fat, she said. For some time it felt to her like the whole school had ganged up on her and were mad at her because she up like a volcano in response to the constant bullying. only because they done it to me so many times that my feelings are hurt. I been depressed inside, she said during a visit to her home earlier this week. Her dad, Randy, said he contacted the previous school principal as well as school trustee Elizabeth Moyer, who he finally reached after nearly two years. By this time, the former principal had been replaced by the current one, Tracy Hayes. Last year in Grade 7 when Mylissa father intervened yet again the principal finally dealt with the ringleader (who been controlling six other girls to pick on Mylissa) by suspending the girl for a day. Now, the ringleader and her friends no longer talk to her much at all, said Mylissa. But this year, two boys have taken up the bullying by throwing snowballs and footballs at her and calling her names, from the time they see her basically to the time she gets home, said her mom, Fran Fraser. terrified to go to school. I don know what that day is going to be like. I don know if I going to be picked on or I be hurt, said Mylissa. actually makes me sick. said she told the principal dozens of times about the bullying by the two boys and claims the advice has repeatedly been to walk away. they immature, stupid boys. they going to be boys. got so bad recently, Mylissa made threats to end her life but didn act on them. Reached late last week, principal Hayes said she very limited in what she can say under privacy rules, but gave assurances every incident is investigated and looked into. about recent bullying by the two boys and her threats to end her life, Hayes said she kate safe couldn comment on that either. Efforts to reach Moyer over three days were unsuccessful. Moyer has been the subject of a media report alleging she sexually harassed two senior school board staffers and intervened with another to hire her teenage daughters to work in a summer program for at risk youth. Fraser said they found out schools don suspend students who repeatedly bully another student, but would try to negotiate and talk with them. is despite new education ministry legislation the Accepting Schools Act of 2012 that mandates all school principals to investigate incidents of reported bullying and implement consequences (meaning suspensions and expulsions) against repeat offenders. Principals are also required to notify parents of offenders and to discuss supports for the harmed children with his or her parents. In the Toronto District School Board, there are seven staff devoted to a gender based violence prevention program and 16 staff assigned to ensuring schools are caring and safe, as mandated by the province. Every school is also required to have a Caring and Safe Schools Committee, although TDSB spokesman Shari Schwarz Maltz couldn say how many of those committees have actually been set up. principal and the local school community determine what they think they need, said Schwarz Maltz, noting they determine the budget to be devoted to those initiatives as well. left up to the principal. said Birch Cliff Heights PS does have a Caring and Safe Schools Committee which is active and includes representation by a teacher, the chair of school council, herself and occasionally a student. She said the committee deals with many issues including, recently, problems with parking in the school lot. Randy said he never heard about any sort of Caring and Safe Schools Committee at the school and, as far as he concerned, not nearly enough love has been applied to the school bullying problem. feel the school board has let us down. they talk about zero tolerance but you always get a story, said Randy, adding school board bureaucrats are good at passing the buck. always about talk. nothing about doing. Sebben, who started the York Region Anti Bullying Coalition in 2009 based on her own personal experience of being abandoned by the school community, said the problem is that there are such kate spade shoes canada powers in the hands of school board administrators that they do what they want when it comes to addressing bullying. Sebben certainly can relate to Black. Her son, Daniel, was subjected to homophobic slurs and one physical attack by a group of five hockey players for more than three years at his Newmarket high school. Although Daniel, who is not gay, always defended himself, it was constant barrage that led him to cut himself, abuse marijuana and then kate spade a turn to Ecstasy, to the point where he required rehabilitation. Suspension after suspension (of three days) had no sway with the bullies, said Sebben. about power and control, she said, noting it wasn until recent years that she saw her son, now 23, bounce back. Based on the number of calls she fielded from parents, she feels has changed one bit since the province brought in the Accepting Schools Act in 2012. Sebben said most schools haven put in place the (safe school) committees kate spade big sale they are supposed to because there is no ministry oversight. Principals are now reporting incidences of bullying, but whether anything happens after that really depends on proactive the principal is, she said. we making baby steps? Possibly, she said. nothing being measured.
and for schools on the whole, their reputation is extremely important. instead of addressing the problem. Lisa Barrow, an assistant professor at Brock University and a workplace bullying expert, said the classic response, both in schools and in the workplace, is to blame the victim.
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