Editorial: Bullying statistics are alarming

Pink Shirt Day is great, but maybe we also need an education program for parents of bullies

The statistics are alarming.

Bullying is not just an occasional event.

According to a report released by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada has the ninth highest rate of bullying in the 13 years olds category on a scale of 35 countries and at least one in three teen students reported being bullied.

Also, 47 per cent of Canadian parents report having a child victim of bullying.

Among adult Canadians, 38 per cent of males and 30 per cent of females reported having experienced occasional or frequent bullying during their school years.

The numbers are even worse for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified or queer as the their rate of discrimination is three times higher than heterosexual youth.

Any participation in bullying increases risk of suicidal ideas in youth.

Girls are more likely to be bullied on the Internet than boys.

At work, 40 per cent of Canadian workers surveyed said they experienced bullying on a weekly basis.

But where does the urge and the knowledge on how to be a bully come from? Children come into this world with no knowledge of hate or discrimination, and respond to affection.

Children, as any parent would tell you, also learn by modelling behaviour, that is how they learn to walk and talk, proper manners, hug and co-operate and to show affection.

Strategies and legislation aimed at preventing bullying and helping victims of bullying are certainly worthwhile ventures.

Perhaps it is time we consider education programs for the parents of bullies.