Pink Shirt Day (Feb. 27, 2019) is meant to promote the anti-bullying message. (Unsplash)

Pink Shirt Day (Feb. 27, 2019) is meant to promote the anti-bullying message. (Unsplash)

In their words: Lower Mainland students talk about bullying in today’s world

Although cyber-bullying is prominent, physical bullying hasn’t gone away

Emily-Ann Deley had gone from school to school to escape her bullies. For years she didn’t succeed.

“I ran away from the bullies. But there’s bullies in every school,” Deley, 16, said. “I kind of just kept to myself and didn’t say anything.”

Her experience is not uncommon.

In Canada, between four and 12 per cent of students in grades 6 through 10 said they had been bullied once a week or more, according to a 2008 study. Many never report it.

For Deley, most of the bullying was physical or verbal.

“A lot of kids got pushed against lockers,” she said. “The older kids made the Grade 8s and everything feel small. They would take their anger out on us.”

READ MORE: School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued

That same kind of face-to-face bullying is what Nick Riemersma, 15, experienced as well.

“When it comes to bullying, everyone is just like—” he punched the air as an example.

“Usually it’s talk for five seconds then fists are thrown.”

Riemersma said he was bullied for three years before it finally came to an end.

“When I got bullied, I just kept it to myself,” he said. “I pictured it as someone with a knife and they were sharpening it. And that knife just kept getting sharper and sharper and sharper, and then one day it just breaks.

“And then that’s when you get suspended.”

Brayden Drewes, 16, was bullied by the same person who picked on Riemersma.

“Then (the bully) broke his nose, then he kinda stopped because everyone kind of hated him,” he said, looking at Riemersma.

According to the same 2008 study, physical bullying has been on the rise since 2002. Deley, Riemersma and Drewes could probably attest to that. But they also brought up another source of bullying that has become increasingly common: the internet.

According to Statistics Canada, nearly one in five young Canadians had experienced cyber-bullying in 2014. A 2016 Angus Reid poll had that number even higher, with one in four Canadians being harassed on social media. The incidents can come through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, but also less expected venues.

READ MORE: Legacy of Amanda Todd lives on through B.C. foundation

“Say for video games, you could have a secret name and they don’t know who you are,” Riemersma said. “And they could be saying things about someone.”

“And some kids don’t even care about the fake account,” Clayton Richardson, 16, added.

“They’ll write it on their own account, just so people know they’re the bully.”

“To show that they’re popular,” Riemersma agreed. “Because they seem cooler.”

So how do teens deal with bullying?

As Deley and Riemersma know, avoiding the problem or fighting it out aren’t always the way to go.

(“Don’t always just think of flying fury,” Riemersma said.)

The teens had come up with some unusual ideas for dealing with cyber-bullying. Riemersma suggested putting the bullies on a “wall of shame,” while Richardson decided he would print out each of the bully’s messages and paste them around the school.

“That way everyone knows this person is a cyber-bully,” he said.

But for all the liveliness of their suggested actions, the one they came back to again and again was simple: tell someone.

“Probably there’s kids out there that are being bullied, but they don’t say anything because they don’t want to seem like a snitch,” Riemersma said. “It happens a lot.”

There’s the fear that “snitching” will cause the bully to make it worse, maybe even take the bullying after school where teachers can’t intervene. But, all agreed that telling is better than the alternative.

“Say something,” Deley said. “Stand up and go talk to a teacher or something.”

“Stick up for yourself,” Riemersma said. “Find better friends that will stick up for you.”

“There’s always options for someone being bullied,” Richardson added. “There’s teachers, parents, other friends, counsellors.”



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

The old seniors centre is adjacent to Mission Leisure Centre, which will compliment programs, amenities, parking, and security for the youth centre. Google Maps image.
Mission’s old seniors centre to be turned into youth centre

Council approves renovation costs of $105,000; youth lounge budget increase of $66,000

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

People stroll through rows of tulips in bloom during the Tulips of the Valley Festival on May 2, 2017. The colourful spring event, now called Chilliwack Tulips, opens on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack tulip attraction open this weekend after being closed last year due to COVID-19

More than 6.5 million bulbs in all at this year’s colourful Chilliwack Tulips event

web
Mission mayoral hopefuls quizzed by chamber

All six candidates participate in virtual question period

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
1 taken to hospital after plane crash at Metro Vancouver airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

Most Read