Saturday, Feb 4, 2017
Blind as Bullies
Talking with kids and parents
hile most kids rush off to school in the morning, eager to embark on a new adventure, for Cindy, 8, (last name withheld), it's the opposite. That's because every school morning a boy her age is waiting to push her down—if he can catch her.
Cindy's mom, Jeanette, contacted The Voice last week because she feels her pleas for help have fallen on deaf ears. She felt that going public with her story was a last resort.
"I'm exasperated. I've called and left messages at the Chilliwack School Board, the school, and nothing. I'm supposed to call the police on an 8-year-old?" she asked. "It's like they can't hear or something, or don't care and just shrug me off like they've got better things to do."
"Sometimes he even pushes me down after school," Cindy told The Voice last week. "But I run pretty fast so he can't push me."
Unfortunately, there's too many kids like Cindy.
Last week, The Voice spoke with child psychologist Dr. Ethan Miller in Vancouver.
"Much of the behaviour begins at home and the kids are reflecting what's happening there." says Miller. "If the child is being abused, hit, then the child may hit or be mean to other kids.
Miller says they work with the kids and if there is abuse going on at home, then it'll show. Sitting down and working with the parents is a huge part of the program.
"Once we sort through their behavioral issues, we'll know which areas and what to focus on," says Miller.
The Healthy Child Clinic has a room for teaching, set up like a normal class with rows of desks and and a teacher's desk at the front.
"This works two-fold: they don't miss their classroom work and we can see how they function in a group setting." he says.
This year, Pink Shirt Anti-Bullying Day is February 22.