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Weeds or flowers?

Anyone who is familiar with this column can agree sometimes the topics I write range from funny to sad to thought provoking.

Last week I pondered a lot about Torrence Collier, a Grade 5 student in Westport that has endured bullying and racism at his school with no apparent end in sight.

My heart broke for him and his family. Bullying is everywhere — schools, playgrounds, and extra-curricular activities even in the workplace. At one point or another everyone has teased someone else that’s just the way things are, but when it comes to racism in this day and age society has reached a new low.

Children are born with their emotions — love, anger, sadness, etcetera — the only emotion they are not born with is hate. Hate has to be learned just like the alphabet or colours.

Am I blaming the parents of these bullies — yes I am. It is a parent’s responsibility to teach their children right from wrong. As children grow and develop they have to be taught that everyone is equal regardless of their colour, race, religion, gender or lifestyle. It should be every parent’s mandate to teach their children to treat others with the respect, attitude and love they themselves want to be treated with.

“I can’t do a thing with them,” it’s a phrase heard all too often, but if the children were taught from the time they were born you wouldn’t have to control them, it would just be in their nature to treat everyone equally.

If I knew one of my children was guilty of something as heinous as what the bullies that are torturing Collier, were I can promise you the first time would be their last time. Why? D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E.

It’s not just the parents. Am I blaming the school and school board? Yes I am.

At the first instance of bullying why were these bullies not expelled? Forget talking, forget suspension — expulsion. If you have weeds in your garden you dig them up, take them out and let the rest of the flowers bloom. Don’t get me wrong I agree with anti-bullying talks, campaigns and other methods to educate people on the topic, but for goodness sakes, if schools know who the bullies are and they refuse to stop further action has to be taken.

I’m not naïve to the fact there are two sides to every story and maybe Collier did some taunting of his own — I can’t say for sure. But I can say there is a difference in bullying and racism and racism is not acceptable in any form in any forum. I think that is the deeper issue than bullying alone, but once again my opinion only.


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