Well, the news is not new. Just more of it. The mother of Rehtaeh Parsons, seemingly filled with hate, is taking what appears to be great pleasure in persecuting and pursuing and judging anyone and everyone who had any contact with her daughter. I understand death. I understand the feelings associated with the death of someone loved. I understand revenge. I see revenge here. Revenge and vengeance seems to be the reason for living now. Is the family wish or the mother's wish to see the suicide of the boys involved? Or trash their families like theirs was? I wonder...
Here are some recent news articles. Well, more stories from Nova Scotia regarding the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons. Her mother, it seems to me, is out for revenge for the death by suicide of her daughter. Her mother went through a hellish experience that no parent should ever, ever have to go through. It is said that "revenge is sweet". Perhaps, in this case, bittersweet. The Nova Scotia government just passed a law that allows one party to sue another party over bullying. This includes an underage student's parents.
A new era of accountability is beginning. Actually a new era of cover-up is beginning. More, a new era of state bullying is beginning. Where will it end? Believe me, from my observations, there is absolutely no end in sight. Just a lot of pain for even more kids and parents.
Can cyberbullying laws really work? At least, and at last, education is talked about.
Now two boys involved with the Rehtaeh Parsons case are off to the whipping post in the near future.
There is probably no need for a fair trial because the public, stirred up by the mother, have already made up their mind. It is surely reminiscent of what I've read about the witch trials of old. Everyone is guilty. Even if you are not, you are.
And finally, Dr. Phil gets involved:
However, bullying never stops as long as people hate each other.
Video from Foxnews related to the story above:
Student sues school after brutal bullying by classmates
When will it end? There is no foreseeable end in sight.
Do well in school kids - you will need the survival skills and credentials!
Cheers - Mike
Bullying is not going away. Neither are the effects on a person who is bullied. Depression, and sometimes acting out, could be the usual result. There are many signs a bullied person may exhibit, but it usually takes someone who knows the person to notice the difference between what was "normal" and what has changed. After noticing what has changed, it is time for questions. Unfortunately for parents, most kids don't respond well to questions, with stock answers like "ok", "nothing wrong", "leave me alone", etc. and parents chalking it up to childhood mood swings, especially nearing and into puberty. So quite often a child will tell another of the same, or near same, age but only if asked. The listening child usually will not tell anyone else unless something bad is mentioned. Bullying has been studied to death, as the stories mentioned below illustrate. Recommendations are made. Hardly anyone listens, or takes action on a many, instead of a few, basis. By many I mean the whole school population. It is easy for one or two students to embrace a different way of thinking about bullying. It is much more difficult to get the entire school population to do it. Can it be done? Of course. Creative teachers and creative students are the answer. By creative I mean able to explain and demonstrate the "problem" and present a "solution". Most educators like to give students solutions to problems, or at least help the students find a solution. Most "mental professionals" present recommendations.
A recent story from the CBC talks about a new study from the US called, Public health approach to bullying and suicide prevention urged.
Last month mental health experts writing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal about student suicide said, among other things,
Strengthening social connectedness such as supportive home and school environments, boosting individual coping skills and ensuring access to caring adults may pay dividends in both bullying and suicide, they said.
They noted poor mental and physical health among victims and perpetrators of bullying and those who experience both.
It is good to see a study reporting what most teachers or parents know. Third party unbiased reporting is excellent and useful.
Here is an excerpt from the article mentioning an interesting, and in my mind, valid point,
As for the question of whether youth who are bullied become depressed or if depressed youth are more likely to be bullied, a Dutch study suggested the answer may be both.
Victims of bullying were much more likely to develop new psychosomatic and psychosocial problems over a school year compared with children who were not bullied, but those with pre-existing depressive symptoms or anxiety were also more likely to be victimized for the first time.
More is being learned, and like most things, there are a lot of "may" and "could" words in the descriptions of a problem or resolution. No, not resolution - a study instead. Very seldom is there a resolution - just recommendations. Gets everyone off the hook. Mental health is not an exact science, due to the individuality of each person. How we look at mental health today is not the same as just fifty years ago. An example:
People with reasonably serious mental health problems used to be locked away as nut cases in insane asylums. That was mostly because "normal" people didn't want to deal with crazy people nor did they want them on the street. Nowadays however, there are probably as many crazy people on the street as would fill a large city. They, for the most part, are not being treated. So we still have the "may", "should" and "could" in research, studies and stories as the following two items illustrate.
Finally, there is recent noise about sibling bullying. What! This is coming from "professionals" who, it seems to me, just want to make a name for themselves. Well they have - a laughable one.
Siblings always have a rivalry which seems like bullying sometimes, but isn't. On the other hand, I have seen very rare instances of bullying among children in blended families and adoption families.
However, the way the stories are coming out, it seems like ALL siblings are being lumped together as possible bullies.
Here is a "study" published in the Pediatrics journal, Sibling bullying is under-recognized, study finds. The CBC reports the same study a bit differently here, Sibling fights compared to school bullying
I hope the "professionals" can do better than that, or is it that they are running out of things to publish... Hmmm
Yo your healthy mind and body...
Cheers - Mike
Excerpt 1 from Raising Kids - the Old and the New.
Raising kids today is nowhere near the same as it was one or two generations ago. You could write several books about it.
Quite often these days a child day care is involved from an early age because both parents work. Or it could be a single parent who is working. Most families in middle-class North America were single income earners not so long ago. Inflation hadn't hit yet. The mothers usually stayed home and raised their kids. There was no need for a day care. Once the child was old enough for kindergarten, they were usually enrolled and would spend a half day there for four or five days a week. Then grade one and formal schooling was underway. The child went home after school to the welcoming arms of their mother, most of the time. Of course fathers were involved but usually in a more administrative role.
How things have changed since then. The norm seems to be working mothers and fathers, day care and pick up after work. Home in time for supper, usually. Kids are cranky and so are the parents. It's quite a job of conscious willing in order to have a harmonious family relationship each day.
I was talking with a boy in his late teens the other day. We were talking about his knee injuries and how susceptible he is to injury.
We talked about other kids we knew who also suffer from being injured easily or who have ligament or tendon issues. He thought it had to do with the diet and food available today. Kids of yesteryear were not subject to being easily injured and were of a thicker, sturdier build instead of the mostly slender kids of today.
So perhaps it is both diet and nurturing. Mothers don't get a chance to nurture their kids much anymore, so tiny kids are left to their own devices. They are being fed and brought up during their most formative years by strangers. And we wonder why kids have so many problems, both mental and physical. Mental problems seem to abound.
Unfortunately, during this economic climate of uncorrected huge inflation since 1975, there seems to be no solution for a more personal raising of kids.
What can we do to help our kids recognize that the parents are the authority and most loving? Well, one could start by saying it every day. Most kids are not mind readers and need audible stimulation and reminders. But in this epoch of rush, rush, rush - it seems to be forgotten.
The new age seems to be kids with smart phones and gaming computers. Many kids seem to feel they really don't need parents, except to feed and clothe them and provide a roof over their heads of course. Parents are being used and they know it but, for the most part, don't know what to do about it. Kids are savvy about a lot of things, that is, sharing sites and the internet in general, however they are not too savvy about talking to others who are not their friends. Talking to adults seems to be so foreign to them that they really don't know how to act or respond. Kids today are wired to their phones. Kids of yesteryear were not wired to anything and because of that, they had a much more broad level of life experience than kids of today at the same age. Mind you, they did have sex, booze and rock and roll.
For good or bad, the die is cast. All of us have to go with it because this time the present cannot be rolled back to the past, or the past merged to this logarithmically changing present.
So, what and how? Well, the rug has been pulled out from most adults. So the first thing is to find the balance again. Then we can go forward and try to get a handle on technology, which is like a runaway train at the moment. Unfortunately, for many, technology is replacing common sense thought and response. Both kids and adults are learning many new ways to be rude and obtuse by remote control. How do we get a handle on a return to civility and common sense? Oh, and there is a correlation between our new technology and what it allows a person to do and learn - and - the flawed mental processes which develop (because of it). The flawed mental state can be turned into a mental disease or condition or disorder or syndrome, or whatever else we want it to be. Sometimes convenient when we don't want to do things which take us away from playing with our toys, or interfacing with other people or going to school...
We can look up symptoms on the internet and away we go.
However some people actually have mental or physical issues. Based on what? Upbringing, abuses, relationships, not wanted, sudden orphans, rape, loss of friends due to a move, accident, bullying, shyness, flash anger, physical problems (environmental, pregnancy, gene or chromosome related issues). These folks usually just want a normal life. It is hard to cope without help. Today there is help, and hope.
Thank goodness there is hope...
From Todd Starnes at Fox News:
Will California Let Boys Use Girls Locker Rooms?
And now if a girl doesn’t want to shower with a boy, there’s something wrong with you...
Allowing boys and girls as young as five, or as astute as seventeen, to be able to pick and choose which gender’s bathroom to use is outrageous...
Only in California? Let's hope so...
Here is another side of the coin from Massachusetts, written by Todd Starnes.
Lawmakers Act to Protect Children From Transgender Bathrooms
To education - get the politics out of education... and the kids...
Cheers - Mike
The Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB) had chosen a new superintendent to replace Edgar Schmidt, who retired as of this summer.
The new person is Darrel Robertson, and here is an article about it from the CBC.
Is this important to you? Well, since he can fire teachers and approve new regulations, yes. It would be in your best interest to learn as much as possible about him. Here is an excerpt from his acceptance speech.
"In our district, that means every single student has the right to a fantastic teacher and a high quality of education," he said. "Every parent has right to meaningful participation in their child's education."
A major shift in learning and education is taking place at the provincial level as teaching methods and learning resources, such as text books, are reviewed in light of new methods and online resources.
Here is an article which explains it more fully from data provided by folks from Alberta Education regarding the Learning Resource Centre.
From Paula Simons at the Edmonton Journal:
Simons: A textbook case of digital revolution: Alberta closes the book on an education tradition
Back to EPSB, the budget for the new school year was released and it appears there will be fewer teachers than before. Read about it here from the CBC.
Good learning... Good luck...
Cheers - Mike
Most young people who commit suicide want a release. Quite often the eulogy for the dead student will wax sentimentality with flowery, loving and misunderstanding words.
Sometimes other students listening to the kind words which no one has ever said about them, wish they could be thought of the same way; instead of the harmful way they perceive it to be presently.
Sometimes a hypnosis-like change takes place in a student who was a good friend of the dead student, a confidant of a tearful friend, or was at a school assembly notification, or was at the funeral of a student who died by suicide.
Sometimes that student will go home and kill themself. Sometimes the same way as the suicide victim did. It can heppen as soon as getting home without even speaking with anyone. Suicide by death - of another.
There is a name for it now. It is recognized. It is something for mental health professionals to be aware of when a student dies by their own hand.
The name is Suicide Contagion. An article from the CBC here references the study. Don't let the numbers and words never heard before throw you off. The study appears to be for peers. On the other hand, the CBC article breaks it down very well.
The gist is - a theory of more student suicides and attempted suicides after a student commits suicide is less a theory now and more of a not well understood, but accepted, condition. Enough to raise alarms and suggest different approaches for student mental health support following a death incident. The younger the kids, the more vulnerable.
We must see all of you students now, ask the questions, reassure that confidential help is ready and most important, that trust is assured. Permissions from the student should be gained before the session starts.
I didn't see anything mentioned about student depression vulnerability regarding an accidental death of a student. However I suspect there is a connection there as well.
We don't want you to die, our students, our kids.
We want you to live and overcome depression and enjoy more happiness again. There are new ways to help. But we need to know you want/need help before the final decision or fatal feeling is made or felt.
To your health...
Cheers - Mike
Added June 30, 2013
More news stories, including one which includes a view which I had stated above. From the CBC we have this update.
Needed: New approaches to defuse 'suicide contagion' among teens
From the article:
"There were a few things that we found really shocking — like just how many Canadian adolescents are reporting that somebody in their school has died of suicide," says Ian Colman.
The story above was linked from this story.
Youth key to helping families fight stigma of mental illness, suicide
From this article:
Getting people to talk about suicide and mental illness is not always easy. People may not wish to talk about feelings of depression. Deaths by suicide are not always publicly identified as such by families, or identified in the same way that deaths from cancer or heart disease might be described.
The legacy for Jamie Hubley, a gay teen who killed himself in 2011 for a number of reasons including bullying at his high school, is getting closer to reality.
The federal government is giving 250,000 dollars to the Canadian Red Cross to have 2400 kids trained to deliver anti-bullying workshops.
Here is the story:
This link is similar but more into the politics:
Jamie Hubley's father, Allan, put it all into perspective in a very personal way.
Here is the family's story which appeared on CBC news last October:
Jamie Hubley's family continues fight against suicide
"With all due respect, I think we have enough studies, I think we have a definition on bullying … our governments have a lot of information available to them on bullying," Hubley said. "I don't think we need more information. … We can't wait a year for action. What we need is action now. If there's money available we should find a way to get that into the frontline troops," including the Youth Services Bureau.
"We can't rely on parents to be able to watch their children every moment of the day, we can't rely on teachers to be the only ones policing the hallways of the schools and the washrooms, and you can't always have your best friend beside you," he said.
"You have a kid in crisis, you don't want to wait six hours. You want help now."
"Do something yourself to stop bullying. Don't wait for someone else to step up and do it...."
He is trying so hard to change attitudes because his son is dead. He would just like to have his son back again. Perhaps, with his impetus, another son or daughter will be saved. We all very much hope so.
Please be nice to each other - we all need it...
Cheers - Mike