There’s No Place For Bullies Here
07 Apr 2015
I was bullied. It was part of the reason I hated the latter part of my elementary school days so much. I was fine from kindergarten until the first few weeks of Grade 7.
And then we moved.
New Neighbourhood. New School. New Kids. New Experiences.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I walked outside for recess. It was a a cold day, and there was lots of snow and ice on the blacktop. I didn’t get 10 feet out the door when someone kicked my feet out from under me. I had been on a sheet of ice, so I went down pretty easy. I didn’t hurt myself. Before I could even think about getting up, the person who had flipped me started kicking at me, and laughing. I thought someone would come and stop him. But no. Others joined in. The kicking and the laughing. It went on, and on. No one came to help. Not even a teacher.
They stopped. Probably because they were tired, or their guts were in pain from all the laughing. Once most of the kids cleared away, one of the kids stopped, stuck out their hand, and helped me up. He was also one of the ones kicking me. What he said next almost made me fall back down.
“Before you came here, I was the one being kicked. Now I don’t have to hang out in the library or washroom during recess any more.”
Wanna know the sad part? He just gave me the locations of where to spend recess and lunch breaks for the next year.
Becoming a target of bullying in the workplace.
Fast forward 20 years. A new manager got hired at my place of employment. I was their direct report. They were hired for their management experience, but had no experience in the industry we were working in.
I spent the next 5 years feeling as if I was their primary target. I can’t count the amount of times that manager had me in tears in their office. I would go back to my workstation visibly distraught.
I’d like to say it was retribution seeing that manager lose their job. But it wasn’t. I knew it was part of a bigger strategy. One that would include my eventual departure, which would happen a year later.
Retribution? No. It’s not in my nature to celebrate someone losing their job, or seeing someone go through misery and/or hardship… even if I felt that person put me through the same. I was just happy knowing I was finally free. Free from what I perceived as workplace bullying.
Bullying by the numbers…
• One in seven Canadian children aged 11 to 16 are victims of bullying
• 25 per cent of children in grades 4 to 6 have been bullied
• Bullying occurs once every 7 minutes on the playground and once every 25 minutes in the classroom
• In most cases, bullying stops within 10 seconds when peers intervene, or do not support the bullying behavior
• 64 per cent of kids have been bullied at school
• 12 per cent of kids were bullied regularly (once or more a week)
• 13 per cent of kids bullied other students regularly (once or more a week)
• 72 per cent of kids observe bullying at school at least once in a while
• 40 per cent have tried to intervene
• 64 per cent of kids consider bullying a normal part of school life
• 20-50 per cent say bullying can be a good thing (‘it makes you tougher’… ‘It’s a good way to solve problems…’)
• 25-33 per cent say bullying is sometimes OK or that it’s OK to pick on ‘losers’
• 61-80 per cent say bullies are often popular and enjoy high status among peers
• Adults who were bullied as children are more likely to suffer from depression in adulthood
Think you are safe from bullying online? Think again.
Cyber-bullying is not new… but it is more prevalent now than ever.
• 1 in 5 Canadian teens have witnessed online bullying
• 25 per cent of kids between 12-15 have witnessed cyber bullying
• 25 percent of girls and 17 per cent of boys have witnessed cyber bullying
• 51 per cent of all teens have had negative experience with social networking
• 16 per cent say someone has posted an embarrassing photo of them
• 12 per cent say someone has hacked their account
Disclaimer: I am helping to promote #RedDotSafeSpot… because bullying sucks. And yes, my bullying stories, both school and work, are very much true. All opinions are my own.
Craig is a husband, a father, team leader, senior youth group coordinator, designer, brander, community builder, volunteer, blogger, and social media manager. Craig likes to go camping, travel, go on road trips, watch movies, read with his girls, build stuff, operate the grill, and play bass guitar. In June 2017, PR firm Cision identified Craig as one of Canada’s top 10 most popular male bloggers in the parents and family space. Known as Big Daddy Kreativ, his blog specializes in travel, lifestyle, food, automotive, events, parenting, movies, tech, recipes, health, pets, reviews, and giveaways.