When we think about bullying, we only think of kids on a playground. But if I told you the chain of bullying is longer than kids on a playground?
Yes, there are many faces of bullying and the story of Jade and Tony, gives us insight into how far back that chain can go, or not!
Jade walked out of the classroom, quietly making her way out, but hurriedly. She was hoping to escape the group of kids that always taunt her as everyone makes their way out of the classrooms for recess.
As a newcomer to the school, Jade had become the object of incessant taunting and name-calling from the other kids. However, she soon came to learn that it was not so much because she was new, but for other reasons.
Some of the kids have called her names like ‘charcoal’ because of her dark skin. Others have pulled her hair asking if it is sponge because of the kink.
There have been those who have told her outrightly, “my parents said not to play with you because you are a n***a and from the slumps.
Yes, Jade learnt it was not because she was new, because she finally made a friend- his name is Tony. Tony is a Caucasian Canadian (White boy), but like her, he faces taunting too.
Wondering why, but also feeling his pain, Jade decided she would be friends with Tony. But first, she was curious about his story.
Grades 5 and 7 kids had been recently zoned to the same area on the playground. That was where Jade met Tony. He was sitting in the ‘no buddy’ chair. The ‘no buddy’ chair is a chair where kids who had no one to play with typically sits. Jade had seen other black kids like herself, Indigenous kids, sitting there, but she had never met a white kid sitting there.
This sparked her curiosity in Tony. Glad she was not the first in the sit, she walked up to him and offered to play. Tony started sitting in that chair because the week before, he had confronted some of his friends for bullying some younger kids and told them to stop.
Just because Tony spoke up, his friends thought he was uncool. But Tony got tired of their constant bullying attempts on others. Because as he has come to learn, bullies bully because of their own insecurities. For months, Tony had been dealing with an abusive step-father. His step-father had been physically abusing Tony and his mother. He had also called Tony’s mother WEAK.
But Tony had been learning from his mother what true strength is. First, she stood up for Tony the day his step-father hit him with a belt head. Next, she talked to Tony about the importance of not being a bully and standing up for others.
Tony’s step-father was raised by an abusive father. This had made him also abusive, but that someone needed to break that cycle. “It is a chain, that should be replaced”, she would say. “Replace the strings with kindness and pass it on”.
As such, on this fateful day, Tony decided he would break the chain, by standing up for the little kids his friends were bullying. Hearing his story, Jade was inspired and also decided she would spread kindness, by being kind, but also by standing up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
A new alliance was formed. A bunch of kids united in purpose, with one goal only- spread kindness and stand up to bullies. A new era now formed!
Feb 22nd was pink shirt day. Pink Shirt day was inspired by kids who stood up for a boy who was being bullied at school simply for wearing pink. It is a day set aside to celebrate the power of kindness as and antidote to the poising of bullying. Below are some quick facts from pinkshirtday.ca
Last year, my family and I had the honour of doing a very short video to remind everyone the need to sow kindness everywhere. Topics like this is a good reminder of why LoudSilences exist.
Remember you can break the chain of unkindness and start a new chain of kindness. Be kind- more than a pink shirt, wear a pink heart!