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The Hamilton Spectator
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The bullying buck stops with parents
Anyone who experienced a normal childhood probably has direct or indirect experience with bullying. Some of us were bullied. Some would admit to being bullies. Most would certainly agree it was a very unpleasant, even traumatic, experience.

But as difficult as our experience with bullying may have been, we survived it. Some of us might even argue we took something positive from it, or at least gained some insight into the dark side of the human condition. We survived. We moved on. We grew up.

Dawn-Marie Wesley, 14 when she hanged herself, didn't. Nor did Reena Virk, the same age when she was beaten to death in 1997. Neither did Hamed Nastoh, also 14, who jumped from a bridge after being relentlessly taunted with anti-gay epithets.

The fact that most adults have some experience with bullying, and surviving it, probably goes a long way towards explaining why, at some level, many of us have trouble accepting that it can be life-threatening.

But these stories, and others like them, don't lie. These victims are dead, and many others are physically or emotionally scarred far in excess of any sort of rite of passage. What changed? When did bullying turn from a relatively normal if not acceptable behaviour to this almost pathological abuse? Source.

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March 27, 2002