WATCH ABOVE: Tess Bantock speaks to Sonia Sunger on Global News BC1
VANCOUVER – More than 300,000 children across Canada have food allergies and many of them face a lesser-known form of bullying everyday.
This kind of bullying can be very serious and even life-threatening.
Simon Fraser University student Tess Bantock says she has been bullied since elementary school due to her food allergies. “I remember being on the playground and being chased by these two boys who threw nuts at me,” she says. “So that was pretty terrifying.”
Bantock is severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.
She says the bullying did not end in elementary school or even high school. “Somebody made a Twitter comment about me in first-year university, which was absolutely terrible,” she says. “I was very shocked that even in university, people are still interested in bullying.”
This week is Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week and Bantock wants to bring awareness to the issue of food allergy bullying.
“I think there’s a massive lack in communication and I think it’s a problem we need to address,” she says, adding that it’s not something to be joked about.
“I think sometimes you don’t think that it is bullying,” says Bantock. “So it’s really important for kids with allergies to realize that it is important to talk about.”
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