By Jonathan Guignard
Now that school has started, bullying is on the minds of many. It’s especially a concern for parents sending their kids off to school.
With the evolution of the internet, bullying happens not only in person, but can be experienced through social media.
The rise of social applications has seen increase risk when having to deal with bullying, but it’s still seen very much inside the schools.
Counsellor Debra Gazeley says there are many forms of bullying along with different levels of it.
“Sometimes it’s something small like someone teasing, but being very persistence. Sometimes it’s on a bigger scale and starts to become physical along with getting other people involved,” said Gazeley.
Bullying can be sometimes confusing for young people and Gazeley says it’s important for them to understand what it is.
“It’s targeted and very specific to one individual and the perception is they feel bullied. Other kids may find their friends teasing them, but they know they are friends so it doesn’t stick,” said Gazeley.
A lot of the times kids aren’t aware about what they are doing.
“I think a lot of the time it’s not even a conscious thing. I think for a lot of these kids they don’t realize the impact they have on the person they are bullying,” said Gazeley.
When a bully does realize what they are doing is effecting somebody, they are quick to change it.
“There is usually some way of remediation. They might apologize or tell them they will never do that again. It depends on the severity of the situation,” said Gazeley.
Gazeley has seen many forms of bullying over the years and can understand the confusion of what bullying is.
“In the school setting I see it happen quite frequently. It comes across as joking or sarcasm, but it can be really specific to a kid. I see the other kids don’t really understand and how much it can hurt,” said Gazeley.
Cases of bullying are often handled by the teachers and the principle, but Gazeley becomes involved when they are unsure of the impact it’s having on either student.
“If we feel that the issue hasn’t been resolved and there might be some carry over then they will come to the counsellor’s office and I’ll see them separately and see what other ways we can remedy the situation,” said Gazeley.
Cyberbullying has increased over the years, and Gazeley can’t stress the importance of being aware of what you are posting.
“Bullying doesn’t just happen face to face, it can also happen on the internet. The same parameters apply, it’s very targeted and specific to that person or group of people. Also, once you post something on the internet like Snapchat, the company has all the rights to that material,” said Gazeley.
Gazeley adds it’s important for parents to talk to their children about all the forms bullying and making sure they understand the effects bullying can have someone