Bullying problem in Harbour Grace

Melissa Jenkins
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Parents of students at St. Francis School speak out against physical and verbal abuse

Editor's note: Names of some parents and students have been withheld due to fear of retaliation and the sensitive nature of the subject.

Bullying

An 11-year-old boy gets punched in the back of the head on the school bus.

Two Grade 5 boys screamed foul comments and curse words at a young girl in the hallways at school during recess.

A sixth grader was repetitively kicked by another student during gym class.

Getting ready to go home from school, a young boy gets shoved hard into the side of his bus by an older girl.

These were some of the stories that were relayed to The Compass from parents and students at St. Francis School in Harbour Grace when word spread that a seemingly increased amount of bullying was taking place.

Although the bullies and victims varied in age and gender, the parents all agreed it's a serious problem at the school and something has to be done.

Fractured foot

With his foot wrapped in a cast and crutches under his arms, Oliver Harris, who's in Grade 6, struggles to get in and out of his mom's car going to and from school.

But that is how he has been going to school every day for the past two weeks. He had to learn how to walk with his foot wrapped, but learned it's easiest to hobble around.

Oliver still tries to keep a smile on his face, but finds it difficult when he has to come face-to-face with his tormentor on a regular basis.

His mom Jesselyn says Oliver has been a target since kindergarten, but this time it has gone much farther than ever before, and it may only be so long before he tries to take matters into his own hands.

Jesselyn doesn't condone violence, but Oliver has diagnosed behavioural disorders that have led to him hurting himself in the past. He has not hurt other children, but she fears it's only a matter of time before he gets to that point.

Although the school is "dealing with" the issue, Jesselyn feels enough hasn't been done to date, and the result was her son's fractured foot.

Different views on dealing

Four separate parents agreed the school has done very little to assist students who are being bullied.

A mother to a Grade 4 student told The Compass the school isn't doing enough about her daughter's bully. In fact, she explains her daughter is not the only one picked on by the same child.

"The child should have been removed from the classroom or have one-on-one supervision," she explained.

That is one of the options the Newfoundland and Labrador English School Board noted as something to help victims of bullying - giving the bully an in-school suspension.

Jeff Thompson, associate director of education with the school board, said every instance of bullying is handled in a different way, in respect to the severity of the situation.

"Obviously, NLESD takes very seriously, incidences of bullying," he said during a phone interview with The Compass Feb. 10.

Besides the severity of the offense, the age of the child also comes into play when dealing with instances of bullying.

Some reprimands that have been approved by the school board include the in-school suspension, an out-of-school suspension that could last one to five days - or longer pending approval from the board - and behavioural supports where a bully works with people in authority to curb their social issues.

Bully consistency

The school board could not confirm if there were any active bullying reports at St. Francis, or how they were being dealt with. It was, however, noted that some areas of the province and some schools go through spurts.

"Instances vary from time-to-time," Thompson explained. "Schools could have long periods of quietness and then have a series of instances."

The mother of two school-aged children said it has been consistent in the Harbour Grace school system for years and has not seen change during that time.

Most parents had a similar story. Their children or their children's friends have been targets for an extended period of time.

Only one mother concluded her child was only a target this year. Her sixth grader has come home with headaches on numerous occasions after having his head slammed into the side of a bus.

She said the school and RCMP had been contacted, but neither could do more than just speak with the child or their parents.

Safe and caring schools

The Safe and Caring Schools Policy that was revised last year is said to help provide a safe environment for the children. Parents have said they do not feel their children are safe.

The policy focuses on establishing clear expectations for all members of the school community, encourage appropriate action and encourage proactive and preventative endeavours when situations occur.

Many parents who spoke with The Compass claimed they had not been educated on the policy.

The Department of Education declined interview requests for clarification on the policy and how it is being implemented. The principal also declined an interview.

Thompson explained there has been a handbook for a long time on the policy, but it is up to the school to educate parents. Some schools, he said, use parent-teacher interviews as the place to explain it, but parents deny being informed.

Program options

Thompson explained the school board is serious about promoting anti-bullying throughout the province.

But Jennifer Austin of Port de Grave, a 31-year-old mother of two, feels schools have been shutting her out of her anti-bullying campaign, called "banish bullying, be the change."

The campaign includes a short assembly for the school where Jennifer describes the bullying she experienced in school, and gives each child the opportunity to sign a declaration stating they will not bully others.

"I have contacted every school on the Avalon and no one seems to want this," she said. "The kids of this province who are being bullied need hope, encouragement and to be able to see someone who's been through this and survived."

Jennifer has started a blog to tell the story of her own mistreatment (bestrongtakeheart.wordpress.com).

"It's a topic that hits close to home for me," she explained.

The campaign was explained to several parents, and they agreed it would be a good place for anti-bullying at St. Francis, and other schools, to start.

Melissa.jenkins@tc.tc

Organizations: The Compass, Francis School, Grade 4 Newfoundland and Labrador English School Board Harbour Grace school RCMP Safe and Caring Schools Policy Department of Education

Geographic location: Port de Grave

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • Former BAYWOMAN
    February 24, 2014 - 13:13

    As a mother (who was somewhat bullied myself) of a son that was extremely bullied (to the point of him having to move schools even after the police were called to the school by the Principal)-mostly due to jealousy, my heart goes out to the children here who have commented. What I would like to tell them is even though these "bullies" might not be fully reprimanded right now, we have to trust that Kharma will as I don't believe in revenge. One day you will see what a wonderful good honest person you turned out to be and the "bullies" will not-it's the cycle of life. Take care

  • Lovelle Miles New
    February 24, 2014 - 04:13

    Bullying is harmful and must be stopped. Yet, I gladly found out a safety service which helps you get protected from bullying. Fend yourself and love ones. Always stay active and alert, do not let anyone bully you. Be protected and keep safe. Sight it here to see: http://bit.ly/1fx3ZK8

  • Hands are tied
    February 21, 2014 - 22:18

    Unfortunately I am aware of bullying taking place at an adult level in a provincial gov't workplace. So it goes on even after school and in a work place that boasts respectful policies. Why does it continue? It's up to the individual-s to come forward and make the complaint so management can move with the process. Problem is that the/y have to continue working there and they need the job. Ones that have been vocal were warned by co workers/ shop steward that they would be on their own. If they don't toe the line for the intimidation group they will be dealt with. Management knows who the problem workers are but can't move on it without a formal complaint. Now one worker is leaving as he can't deal with the stress and unfairness. How many others left that didn't talk? Thanks NAPE and NL Gov't

  • Lucy
    February 21, 2014 - 18:51

    I'm SO surprised! NOT. In an area...well, I can only speak of the Town where I 'exist'...I can't call it 'living'...where we retired and moved home and bought a B&B, only to have it run into the ground with the NON-help of the Town Council here, to the point that we're no longer allowed to be open from Oct. until the end of May each year, but we ARE expected to pay both Business and Residential Tax, for a FULL year...seeing as I didn't 'write' them and 'tell them we were closed' even though THEY knew we weren't allowed to be OPEN, seeing as there is no parking for the months I've specified above....to them outright refusing to do a standard Fire Inspection the first year we were here, and we DID pay two lots of taxes that year too, even though we weren't ALLOWED to be opened until said Fire Inspection was done.....I was told "We don't want to" when I asked why they couldn't do it, AND, upon orders of the Fire Commissioner's Office AND the then Premier Danny Williams, they still wouldn't do it, (even though I can throw a rock here and hit the Fire House)....and NO, I am NOT blaming the volunteer firemen and women...And, to get THAT resolved, a lady from one of the neighbouring towns had to come here and do the inspection, so yeah...they REALLY care here....because I had no choice but to escalate it to the Premier's office at the time, which REALLY sealed our fate...because then? Our Signs disappeared off the TCH, the newsletter/brochure put out by the Town had all of the FORMER owner's information on there, plus on their Town Website...where they list "The Stone House and Shivers Ice Cream" with THEIR info, and as being OPENED, even though the man who bought the Stone House has had about as much luck and co-operation as WE'VE had, seeing he's had it for five or six years now and it's STILL not opened, due to 'legalese'....and, they've never been opened since WE moved here, AND, in spite of the fact that "I" had updated OUR information online AND in a letter to the Town... to being called THREE minutes after Hugh moved our car to the other side of the Road to let the Plow go down, winter before last, so NO, the 'new parking laws' were NOT in effect then...and I got a call 'from the Town'....saying we were blocking a NON-existent driveway...and now? We're shut down from Oct. until May because of the parking issue. I've had to turn away about forty people calling for a place to stay because of the Swim Meet being held here...and when I explained why to one of the client's who called today, and who's a lawyer, he said he's contacting the Provincial Government because he doesn't think Carbonear should be GETTING the funding for those swim meets if people have nowhere to STAY....so yes, it does trickle down, folks. And this is only the SCAB on top of the wound, believe me....with the way we've been treated here...and is only the BEGINNING of the NIGHTMARE that is now our life.....and I am simply telling 'my' story because if children OBSERVE adults doing what has been done to us? Who moved here for our retirement and because we wanted to move 'home' to Newfoundland? (Even though this feel's more like the Middle EAST than the Newfoundland I left 20 years prior!) HOW can they NOT be bullies? Seriously? When they live in an attitude of "I don't care...it doesn't affect ME! OH, look...another 'non-resident' we can squash like a BUG...Yaay....let's make THEIR lives a living hell!" And people then expect CHILDREN to conduct themselves with INTEGRITY??? And therein lies the rub....and I was a School Board Member for 7 years...and a Hospital Board Member for 7 years, getting three new Hospitals built on the Burin Peninsula, and I WAS Mayor in the Town I lived in...so I DO know one thing...when a person has a certain amount of authority....they need to leave their 'ego' at the door, as I always DID, and advised the people on those boards WITH me, to do the same......and their personal prejudices, because their job is to serve, not CRUCIFY! And I speak from a LOT of experience. BUT, it's no longer an issue. We're now two retirees, living on a pension, in a MAMMOTH sized house that we can't afford, and which I now consider was sold to us on 'bad faith'....so yeah, feel very proud, Carbonear. SO, a word of advice...not that it matter's...I mean, I was told to my face..."You'll never 'belong here'..to which I replied..."Honey, I'm NOT a follower, ok...so don't worry aboutme!" And just remember. People reap what they sow...and children mimic the behaviour of adults, especially parents. And this bullying incident is happening to ADULTS...let alone CHILDREN attending school, so HOW, I ask, can you expect a different result, when NOBODY CARES, except about themselves??????? Exactly. And it's coming home to roost...and believe me...MY hear break's for those dear children being bullied....because I've thought of walking down that hill and OFF that wharf, on MANY a dark night of the soul, rather than fight another day here...and I can only IMAGINE what those dear children have running through THEIR heads! Lucy Hodge (The Fool Who Bought A Bridge That We're No Longer Allowed To Drive Over!)

    • Sad
      February 24, 2014 - 21:05

      Sad sorry to hear, but absolutely nothing to do with children being bullied in school. Word has it you bought the business with the same criteria the previous successful owners had. They were open in the Winter. Stop whining, get a grip and please don't blame others for your poor decisions.

  • Two sides
    February 21, 2014 - 16:19

    There are two sides to every story. This is not a story because the true facts have not been disclosed. It is based on hearsay and the voice of a few, not the majority. Does bullying happen at St. Francis ? Probably as it occurs in every other school in NL but it is blown out of proportion by this sensationalist storyteller. Many of the problems in schools are a direct result of unfit parenting! Before a story is printed the truth should be verified but in this case I feel it was not. Very unresponsible journalism if you ask me. Case closed!

  • George
    February 20, 2014 - 21:34

    Where is the penal system in all this? What is the RCMP's. stance on this school situation. Are their hands tied? If so, we have a very serious problem in our society that's only going to get worse... Doesn't bashing someone's head in or kicking someone repeatedly constitute assault? With no consequences, our society is heading down a frightful and tragic path.

    • Christine
      February 21, 2014 - 15:48

      I have been out of School since 86 and nothing has changed. I put a stop to my bullying by fighting back , and the sad thing is this seems to be the case now. I have kids that have grown up and gone to through school and I for one always confronted the parents where as the school never did anything only speak to the child doing the bullying, I to do not like to solve problems with violence but when the bully is getting away with it all the time it is time to pull together as students and stop the violence. Nothing scares a bully more than a group of students raking the bully over the coal and giving them a bit of what they dish out on a daily routine. Why should one student be abused. If you see it , organize a group to stop it , other wise your all just a guilty watching it go on.

  • Pearl Bradbury
    February 20, 2014 - 14:20

    I think there needs to be something done about each and every case of bullying. Suspensions may be o.k. but maybe the parents would actively talk to and try to stop their child from bullying if there was an in school FINE when it is proven positive their child was involved. Seems like the pocketbook is the only thing that works with some people. The finds could be used to promote anti-bullying programs or learning tools for the school !!!

  • was a victim
    February 20, 2014 - 08:04

    Its not only happening in one school its happening in every school I'm out of school since 2008 and I was builled from grade 1 to grade12 I went to the teachers and principles and they didn't do nothing but talk to the builles... every time I gets off the bus from school when in was in grade 1 to grade 9 I be crying they pulled my hair push me down hit me call me names. And when I got in grade 10 it became worst called every name in the book and threw against lockers and in garbage cans and almost pushed down over the stairs when I got in grade 11 I was sitting down with my friends talking to them a boy came up and pulled the chair from underneath me and I hit my back off the wall and I couldn't left my arms up to comb my hair I had to get my mom to do it and in grade 12 it was still bad name calling swore on and when I was in grade 11 I was walking down the ile in the lunch room and the same guy pushed a chair under the table and hit me with it when I done it the teacher caught me and send me down in the office and I told her he done it first but she said she didn't see him doing it. But the reason why he didn't get into troblem BC she knew him... bulling also goes home with you BC I got builled in school and at home by the same people in the summertime they beat my bike up they spit on Me and my bike the slash a hole in my bike tire and kick in my private part and called names and bullied BC my dad has parkisons they made fun of me BC of that.I never got no help with any of this the teachers and principles just said awe that'd a way to tell ya the boy likes you Not REALLY its bulling . Its time for something to he done because its going to come to it again that a child is going to take theirs lives again. Then will there be something donr about it....

  • was a victim
    February 20, 2014 - 08:02

    Its not only happening in one school its happening in every school I'm out of school since 2008 and I was builled from grade 1 to grade12 I went to the teachers and principles and they didn't do nothing but talk to the builles... every time I gets off the bus from school when in was in grade 1 to grade 9 I be crying they pulled my hair push me down hit me call me names. And when I got in grade 10 it became worst called every name in the book and threw against lockers and in garbage cans and almost pushed down over the stairs when I got in grade 11 I was sitting down with my friends talking to them a boy came up and pulled the chair from underneath me and I hit my back off the wall and I couldn't left my arms up to comb my hair I had to get my mom to do it and in grade 12 it was still bad name calling swore on and when I was in grade 11 I was walking down the ile in the lunch room and the same guy pushed a chair under the table and hit me with it when I done it the teacher caught me and send me down in the office and I told her he done it first but she said she didn't see him doing it. But the reason why he didn't get into troblem BC she knew him... bulling also goes home with you BC I got builled in school and at home by the same people in the summertime they beat my bike up they spit on Me and my bike the slash a hole in my bike tire and kick in my private part and called names and bullied BC my dad has parkisons they made fun of me BC of that.I never got no help with any of this the teachers and principles just said awe that'd a way to tell ya the boy likes you Not REALLY its bulling . Its time for something to he done because its going to come to it again that a child is going to take theirs lives again. Then will there be something donr about it....

  • Dicky Byrd
    February 20, 2014 - 06:08

    I went to St. Francis and that was when it was an all boys school. For the whole year I had a grade 11 student pick on me the whole year. Literally fist fights in the halls , outside, on the bus. One of the brothers even caught him and nothing was done. He was the Senior Class President of the School. I vowed if I ever saw him outside the school I would take care of it . However, I have matured since then, No doubt somewhere since 1979-80 someone has put that asshole in his place a time or 2. I have no problem though if I ever did see him to embarrass him. My daughter while we lived on the west coast had a kid in grade 5 take a knife to her because she did not want to be his "boy friend ". the kid was taken out of school and had to see a specialist and have therapy, and prove to the therapist that he was no longer a threat to my daughter or the school. First of all the parents here were to blame, where did the kid get the knife,, who lets their kid go to school with this. the staff at school are their to educate the kids not to parent them. Yes there are times that the kid at home is an angel and once outside is a devil. Somewhere along the line the parents have to pick up on this or be told by others, then it is the parents responsibility. If bullying continues at school put these kids in a program with people trained to deal with kids like this and until they prove they can be put back into the regular classes again then and only then should they be allowed back. Of course be strictly monitored as well.

  • Voice From the Corridor
    February 19, 2014 - 22:45

    My heart goes out to the parents of the kids who are going through these bullying situations. I'm a parent and a teacher so I have it coming at me from both angles. I worry about what my child might have to deal with in school as she gets older. Then I have to deal with issues at the school level in my day-to-day work, some of which would make any non-teacher wonder why we do the job to start with. Today's teacher works in a different educational environment than that of years gone by. We deal with everyday things that past generations of teachers never did. I don't know exactly what the situation is at St. Francis, but I do know that there are some very caring staff in that building who I've worked with and who I consider friends. These professionals would not knowingly sit by and let bullying take place. Unfortunately, there are policies in place that tie the hands of administrators when it comes to dealing with those who bully. Suspensions are limited to a certain number of days and expelling a student has become virtually impossible. For parents, all I can say is that sadly, bullying rears its ugly head far too often in too many schools. I went through it as a student, I've seen it as a teacher and done everything I can to report it. If my child becomes a victim, I'll do what I can to make sure it stops. All I can suggest is that you push the upper levels of the system...those who control the policies that we have to work with. It may not be much comfort to those parents who have to deal with what your kids are coming home with, but please believe that we're trying our best. We can't be everywhere and it's often hard to nail a bully the way we'd sometimes like to. In the meantime, I know what we plan to do as parents: teach our children to be kind individuals and to protect themselves and others around them. Strength in numbers...both from students and parents...can work wonders.

  • Displaced Newie
    February 19, 2014 - 22:40

    Bring back the strap! It doesn't have to be used, but the bullys don't need to know that. But maybe the threat of violence against them would make them think twice about their actions. Our children are headed for a horrible future all because as parents we scream blue murder the minute we get wind of children being deciplined in school. Its time for the societal adults to take a stand and show the kids that they ARE NOT IN CHARGE!

    • Turned out alright
      February 21, 2014 - 14:06

      When we went to school, I never saw the strap but I certainly didn't do anything in case they threatened it. I have 2 kids, 7 and 9, and they get away with nothing but some of their friends are just terrible. No respect and constant sauce to any and everyone. I was nipped with a wooden spoon many times as a child as I ran in the other direction once I knew I had done something that warranted it. And I can guarantee I didn't do that a second time. Something needs to be done. The poor children who are getting bullied are never going to be the same. WE need to protect our children. It is up to us!!

  • Victim
    February 19, 2014 - 21:44

    My daughter is also bullied at this school. Kids who bully are revered at this school and nothing is done. It is time someone spoke up. I read on social media that people had a different opinion of the bullying at this school. Well I just want to say I think you were a bully as well. You were very strong about your opinion. Doesn't make it right though. Open your eyes and look around. It's happening.

  • joy
    February 19, 2014 - 20:47

    my two kids went to the harbour grace school system years ago. I got tired of going to the school for help with the bulling they endured but the school did nothing , I evened threatened to bring in the law but they still did nothing. in my opinion theses kids who are bulling should be suspended from school for two weeks at a time for every incent that happens involving them. then something would be done because most of those parents ignore the problem because they don't wont to deal with it, but they don't wont their kids staying at home with them either, some might think this is harsh but all kids deserve to go to school and be safe, I think the school does nothing most of the time because the bully's parents are friends of theirs .. funny they do nothing about bullying and then they wonder why so many kids drop out of school. Its time for a change of staff maybe of time for discipline at home ,,, maybe the RCMP should get more involved with the school bulling and I just don't mean by making speech's, because while they are talking those bully's are laughing at them.. I know because I've seen this first hand....maybe punishment should be brought back into the school system..etc THE GOOD OLD STRAP

  • joy
    February 19, 2014 - 20:46

    my two kids went to the harbour grace school system years ago. I got tired of going to the school for help with the bulling they endured but the school did nothing , I evened threatened to bring in the law but they still did nothing. in my opinion theses kids who are bulling should be suspended from school for two weeks at a time for every incent that happens involving them. then something would be done because most of those parents ignore the problem because they don't wont to deal with it, but they don't wont their kids staying at home with them either, some might think this is harsh but all kids deserve to go to school and be safe, I think the school does nothing most of the time because the bully's parents are friends of theirs .. funny they do nothing about bullying and then they wonder why so many kids drop out of school. Its time for a change of staff maybe of time for discipline at home ,,, maybe the RCMP should get more involved with the school bulling and I just don't mean by making speech's, because while they are talking those bully's are laughing at them.. I know because I've seen this first hand....maybe punishment should be brought back into the school system..etc THE GOOD OLD STRAP

  • tired of bs
    February 19, 2014 - 20:12

    I am so sick and tired of hearing about bullying in the schools...I have 4 daughters from grades 1 to 8 and I have taught them how to behave in public...if they cannot manage to control themselves I bar them in their rooms with nothing but books to read and paper and a pencil to write me a letter convincing me why they should be allowed to be around other humans again...seriously folks...if children are not fit to be around other children, then REMOVE THEM!!...let the parents of these brats be inconvenienced with a child at home for a few days, maybe they would have to miss work and actually SPEND TIME TEACHING THEIR CHILD HOW TO BEHAVE!!... Why should teachers have to waste time and energy on something that needs to be taught AT HOME?!!!

  • Victoria
    February 19, 2014 - 18:04

    You know what i think should happen? on the first offence, they get a verbal warning. Second a written, and a letter sent home to the parents. Third offence, child's parents have to come to the school and talk to the victim and the bully and their parents. discuss further punishment should it continue. if the child should continue to do what they have been then they get an in-school suspension (i see out of school pointless, EVERY child, especally a bully, doesnt WANT to be in school, they are only going to do it more and worse if they think they can get out of school!) .. during the in school suspension they should have to write a 1000 word essay on how THEY would feel should they be bullied, why they feel the need to do so, etc. they may find a lot of hidden secrets about the children if they do this.. some are actually calling out for help when they bully... if that doesn't work than take them out (or force them into) extra curricular activities where they will be watched and monitored. give them a chance to mingle with people they feel are 'below' them.. you know they'll hate it. Do that for a week or so, or however long you figure it will make the difference... then if THAT doesn't work.. do in school suspension again, but up the amount of work to be done (no recess and dinner break, if taken at school, be done in the office as well).. have random pop quizzes from their classes (to ensure homework and lessons are being learned).. someone watching them to ensure they are not texting, or something they are not supposed to be... Eventually something is going to work.. they are not going to want to do one or more of these tasks and they are going to give up! then maybe, by the time all that is done, police will have more say in it, who knows? right now a lot of rules have to be changed. just my opinion.. i'd love to be a principle for a year. lol

  • Emilia
    February 19, 2014 - 17:05

    This has been going on within St. Francis for a low longer then a few weeks/months even when I started going to school (in which was like ten years ago finished there bout six years ago) it was going on all it is right now is that's it's gotten worse because of the fact most kids (no offence) are a bunch of little snots that have nothing else better to do. St. Francis never done anything about the bullying back when I was there so I highly doubt they're gonna do anything about it now even though people say it's gotten "worse" .. And that's my input on that subject.

  • Karen
    February 19, 2014 - 15:52

    I can feel for these students and parents of St Francis school, for my son has been bullied there since the start of the school year. I have spoken to the staff, RCMP,and Family services, and even talked to the bullies parents(and got nowhere) on more than 1 occasion, and it is still going on. My Son has been punched in the back of the head while sitting at his desk, Hit and pushed, called names, tripped, and his bike threw over the fence at school with the tire tubes cut. He has ADHD, and is only a tiny boy for a 11 yr old. It's going to take someone getting seriously hurt or even worse for something to be done with these bullies, and that's the sad part.

  • Karen
    February 19, 2014 - 15:44

    I can feel for these students and parents of St Francis school, for my son has been bullied there since the start of the school year. I have spoken to the staff, RCMP,and Family services, and even talked to the bullies parents(and got nowhere) on more than 1 occasion, and it is still going on. My Son has been punched in the back of the head while sitting at his desk, Hit and pushed, called names, tripped, and his bike threw over the fence at school with the tire tubes cut. He has ADHD, and is only a tiny boy for a 11 yr old. It's going to take someone getting seriously hurt or even worse for something to be done with these bullies, and that's the sad part.

  • Amanda
    February 19, 2014 - 15:07

    This isn't just limited to Harbour Grace. Here in Torbay my daughter was punched in the face on the bus, and only a few days later her friend was pinned down and choked out by an older girl on the bus as well. I've heard of kids being thrown around by their backpacks, hit, and called all kinds of cuss words. What's happening to our kids?

  • bc sla
    February 19, 2014 - 14:43

    this is aweful as a parent to know this...these kids and parents should have to go to the school with the kids that r being bullied..and as well the name of all involved should not be hidden or covered up...this is terrible

  • Doug
    February 19, 2014 - 14:28

    I lived in a small town on the prairies that had a bullying problem in the high school. The Principal, who had nothing but excuses, was finally removed (after the CBC broadcast the story) and the new Principal instituted a zero-tolerance policy. Problem was fixed almost immediately. If the people in charge of educating children can't keep them safe it's time to make staff changes.

  • amber ann dove
    February 19, 2014 - 14:06

    I go to st francis school I get bullied it so hard evryfay I cry its so hard to be me hpevryone calls me a liar evryone swewrs and yells it is time for kids to stop

    • Krista
      February 19, 2014 - 18:55

      It's really sad to see this happening. I know of 2 different cases last week alone of 2 differents girls taking pills & trying to committ suicide due to bullying in school. One girl from Frank Roberts & the second from Queen Elizebeth. I know things within the schools have to change, but I also do belihas that it starts at home as well!!

    • Joey
      February 20, 2014 - 07:34

      I hate this school too! I get laughed at all the time and nobody cares. They make fun of me and my family and it hurts. I don't want to go here anymore.

    • WHo are the bullies
      February 20, 2014 - 07:38

      My child attends this school and she sees the kids who get ridiculed on a daily basis. She hates going because she feels so bad. She says nobody does anything to make you feel better. My son is very soft hearted and I am fearful that this will force him to have issues if he does not get help in coping with these behaviours.

    • Jeff Rose-Martland
      February 27, 2014 - 06:27

      AmberAnn: hang in there. It DOES get better. I you read the other comments, you see many people just like you who made it through. You are not alone - even when it feels that way. BE yourself, be true to yourself, and endure however you can. The one thing bullies hate the most is someone who won't cave in.