BC Anti-Bullying Day (Wednesday Feb 25th, 2009)

I think that only the people who know me the most (a vast majority of my offline friends and some of my friends online) know that I was bullied when I was a child. That’s the reason why I am trained in martial arts. Not because I liked to kick anybody’s rear end, but because I needed to protect myself.

One day (several months after I had started my martial arts training), a guy who had bullied me for a long while started picking a fight with me (Gustavo was his name), right before school was over. I was faced with the choice I never wanted to face – “do I fight or do I run?” I decided it was time to fight back. I grabbed Gustavo’s arm and applied a judo move on him. I threw him over the top of my shoulder and, strategically, forced him to land with his back towards a trash can. I did this purposefully as I knew that would immobilize him completely. He started crying on the spot and ran away from me as fast as he could.

My classmates were astonished. “How could Raul, the tiny little midget, defend himself now? What happened to him?” From that moment onwards, I never looked back, and never had to face another bully. The word was out: Raul was never going to let anyone else pick on him ever, ever again.

While I know that my family worries a lot about my personal safety (for many reasons, one of them because I have such a public presence online and offline, and also because of the recent strings of assaults in the downtown core), I think it’s important to fight back against bullies. To demonstrate that we will not let aggression take us down.

Premier Gordon Campbell recently announced that Wednesdy, February 25th, 2009 is BC’s Anti-Bullying Day (hat tips to Tris for reminding me!). If you support the cause, I encourage you to show up at the Vancouver Bloggers Meetup wearing a pink shirt. Wear it at work, wear it at home, wear it out and about. Take a stance.

Related posts:

  1. The realities of anti-bullying rhetoric, as it relates to the campaigns It Gets Better and Pink Shirt Day
  2. Take 5 Café Supports Pink Shirt Day (Anti-Bullying Campaign)
  3. Wear Pink Shirt Day (Anti-Bullying Day) 2010
  4. The Vancouver Bloggers Meetup is this coming Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
  5. Upcoming events – BC Anti-bullying Day

Comments (6)

emilyFebruary 23rd, 2009 at 10:14 am

well. all in gotta say to that is that bullies need love too. there’s a reason they’ve become bullies. but the ones being bullied usually can’t relate:)

RebeccaFebruary 23rd, 2009 at 11:35 am

I can’t find the post but I wrote about this (I think maybe on Metroblogging?) and people were bashing the idea of wearing pink — I believe it stemmed from the story of a local boy who wore pink to school and got bullied for it. The negative comments were saying that wearing pink won’t help, it will only perpetuate the bullying. (I know, this comment would make a lot more sense if I could actually find the quotes, sorry).

I think that anything that brings these issues to the forefront, if even just for a day, or through a t-shirt, is a great thing.

I also think Emily’s got a point about bullies being bullies for a reason — I think organizations like Kids Help Phone and such are terribly important for all that are dealing with issues – to ensure that youth can deal with these concerns, be heard, share feelings, and to have some kind of outlet and help.

AnonymousFebruary 23rd, 2009 at 11:54 am

Choosing to fight is an important turning point in someones life, and I think too many people put it off until it’s too late. I admire you for making the decision so early. I’m still trying, and believe me, the longer people wait the harder it gets.

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