Editorial Exchange: Pink with Shame

By Godbout, Neil; Citizen, Prince George | The Canadian Press, February 27, 2013 | Go to article overview

Editorial Exchange: Pink with Shame


Godbout, Neil, Citizen, Prince George, The Canadian Press


Editorial Exchange: Pink with shame

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An editorial from the Prince George Citizen, published Feb. 27:

It's anti-bullying today and students and teachers at schools across the district are wearing pink today to stand up against bullies and bullying. I'm proudly wearing a pink tie today.

Like many of my generation, I wish there had been anti-bullying campaigns when I was young, or the following story, first printed in The Citizen on Nov. 23, 2007, might not have become a shameful part of my childhood:

My bullying victim was Robert, the son of a single dad raising a pair of kids as best he could in a rough northern town.

I was hardly alone in my persecution of Robert. The neighbourhood kids in 553, the subdivision of mobile home trailers literally on the wrong side of the tracks in Hay River, made a habit of harassing both Robert and, to a lesser degree, his younger sister Rhonda.

Robert's crimes were numerous.

He wasn't very smart.

His dad dressed him in farm-boy hick clothes.

He was hopeless when asked to throw a baseball, catch a football, kick a soccer ball or shoot a hockey puck. This made him the last kid chosen every time when picking teams.

He was gullible.

Based on these transgressions, we made his life hell.

The school bus stop was directly in front of his house. He would rarely venture out before the bus came because, with his dad long gone to work, it really wasn't safe. In the winter he was pelted with snowballs and, since we couldn't get him directly, we'd just throw snowballs at the house and shout taunts at him until the bus came.

One morning, my friend Troy and I came up with an ingenious plan.

Noticing that the door opened outwards from the porch, we took a snow shovel, rammed the blade in a slat between the two-by-fours on the wooden step and tucked the handle underneath the door knob.

Guess who missed the bus to school that day?

We howled with laughter and won the admiration of all our friends. …

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