SASKATOON – More than one-thousand students rallied at the University of Saskatchewan for Red Cross Day of Pink Monday, in an attempt to put an end to bullying. The crowd chanted “imagine no bullying” several times, as speakers took the stage.
Former Saskatchewan Roughrider Scott McHenry admits he’s battled with it in the past.
“I was using negative bullying behaviour. And my classmates stood up to me. And they told me that behaviour wasn’t going to fly anymore.”
McHenry admits he still gets goosebumps just thinking about it. Eventually, he appreciated the confrontation and today, he tries to lead by example.
“When they see it, they have to do something about it. And I hope that’s one of the main things they left here with today,” he added.
However, old fashioned teasing is no longer the only concern. With more people spewing hate behind their computer screens, cyberbullying has added to the staggering statistics.
According to the Canadian Red Cross, 89 per cent of teachers say bullying and violence are serious concerns in public schools. Only 25 per cent of students felt teachers intervene and more than half of bullied children don’t report the incidents.
Chelsie Christison speaks from experience. The Red Cross youth ambassador was isolated and cornered by former friends at her high school, eventually forcing her to fast-track courses online, all in hopes of avoiding the tension.
“I think of loneliness and isolation because that’s what I went through. You really do feel alone,” she said, reflecting on her time being bullied.
Today, she says she’s happy to have risen above and she says sharing her story helps.
“Be someone’s hero. Don’t be afraid to get out and stand up for someone if you see them because what do you have to lose?”
© 2016 Shaw Media