Tuesday, 23 November 2010


November 14 to 20 was Bullying Awareness Week, an event started eight years ago by Bill Belsey of Cochrane, Alberta Canada. The theme for this year was, "Stand Up! (to bullying)" Click here to visit his home page.

I wish the authorities had dealt decisively with bullies back in the grim autumn of 1966. While at Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind in Vancouver, British Columbia, a certain boy, who I refer to as Charlie, began picking on me for reasons known only to him. When I complained to teachers, supervisors, and the principal, I was unanimously advised to ignore him so he'd lose interest and quit. That was exactly the wrong thing for me to do.

From Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), here is how Charlie's mistreatment of me began.


Living with Charlie became progressively worse for me. When I first came to Jericho, I could tolerate his company. He eventually became bossy and scornful. As I left the Dining Hall after breakfast one morning, Charlie followed me. Suddenly he twisted my left arm and held it behind my back.

"You want me to break this again?" he taunted as he held my arm. "I could do it easily you know." I quickly begged him not to, not wanting to have a cast on and suffering more pain. "You better do as I say or I'll break your arm," Charlie warned as he let me go. I felt miserable as I walked to class. When I went to public school, I could get away from bullies for the evening but not so in Jericho.


Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Click here to read more about this book and to order it. You may also e-mail me directly if the comment form doesn't work.


  1. I can think of instances where I was bullied by three different kids as I was growing up. In one instance, there wasn't much I could do but keep away from the kid at Sunday school and church, where I saw him. In another instance, I finally got fed up and literally fought back. I won't say what I did, but I wonder to this day if his ability to have children was impaired. The third instance was bullying from a girl, believe it or not. She was bisexual and brutalized a number of girls. My remedy was to leave the school and go to another school. A year later she was expelled. But that was more than one year too late.

  2. With all do respect. In Ontario this program has been used for the wrong reasons. Teachers are allowed to teach after having sex with children. A principal was not only allowed to continue administering schools after throwing dog dirt at a child she was given a different school. Two children would rather be dead rather then go to school. They hung themselves rather then go to school. Numerous parents in Ontario have sued their school boards and it hasn't stopped. School boards would rather pay money then protect children. If I have to read one more story about Bully Awareness week I am going to scream. How many more kids have to kill themselves? How many more parents have to sue becuase school boards would prefer to have a Bullying awareness week rather then hold school board officials responsible for their outrageous misconduct in bullying cases in our schools. Damn schools in Ontario pay their native lenaguage teachers less then their French and Catholic Instructors. Enough is ennough

  3. I'm not writing about the zero-tolerance foolishness but the lack of caring teachers, supervisors, and other caretakers who should have dealt with an obvious bully. I posted about this bullying situation last June where the lack of authorities helping forced me to choke the bully. That frightened him so much that he quit bugging me. If administrators would deal with complaints by forcefully dealing with the bully and his or her parents, instead of ignoring the problem, there'd be fewer suicides and other problems.


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