Sunday, June 03, 2012

Father of homosexual suicide victim says McGuinty’s anti-bullying strategy is ‘sure to fail’

The father of homosexual suicide victim Jamie Hubley, whose death last fall spurred the McGuinty government’s push for Bill 13, testified to Ontario’s Legislative Assembly that Dalton McGuinty’s proposed anti-bullying legislation would not only have failed to protect his son, but by giving him a label it would have made him more of a target for discrimination.


“Jamie was the only openly gay person in his school of over 1,000 students,” the surviving father said. “A GSA with one member, or even a few, would only have made him more of a target.”

“I have to ask you,” he continued, “How many people publicly announce their sexuality before they are out of school and established in their lives? Why, then, would we be considering forcing them to do so at an age when they already have so many pressures to manage?”

Hubley, who is also a city councilor representing Kanata South, would like to see a bill that protects every child from bullying, not just a select group.

As the mother of autistic children, I've often wondered: what about my kids?

This isn't about bullying. Autistic kids are bullied just as much if not more than gay kids.

This is about shoving acceptance of homosexual behaviour down Catholic throats.

The truth is: government cannot do much about bullying.

It is true that bullying often involves physical assault and intimidation, which can be legally sanctioned.

But that's not what it's usually about.

It's usually about one kid or a group of kids picking on an isolated, socially excluded individual who has something different about them, and the group deriving a lot of entertainment from that bullying.
There's a reason kids don't speak up against bullying. Because the victim is often a kid who is not terribly well-liked. Somehow his looks or behaviour annoys people, and there are a heck of a lot of bystanders who are glad this kid is getting bullied. They are glad the victim is getting his supposed comeuppance or they just think the jokes are funny and they add a little bit of levity to the otherwise boring experience of attending class every day.

And even, after laughing at all the putdowns directed at the victim, they think it might be a good idea to tell the aggressors to quit, they won't, because speaking up sends the wrong message or invites putdowns towards you.

So they don't.

And no amount of government legislation is going to stop it. You can't legislate against meanness. Popular kids will always want to stick it to the unpopular kids.

There are ways to mitigate bullying. You can help the victim adjust to their environment better. You can appeal to the kids to think of how words can hurt. You can install cameras in schools to monitor behaviour.

But these are things that schools can do that do not require government legislation.

Ultimately, a kid who wants to bully will find a way to bully. If his parents don't care (and they often don't)  there's not much you can do about it, short of taking legal action.