An Apache Junction middle school student could have permanent scars after he says his own classmates burned him on the bus.
His mother is worried about the emotional scars and is demanding the school protect her son from bullies.
Cactus Canyon Junior High School seventh-grader Reinhard Zorko, 13, has missed school the last couple of days. Instead, he’s hanging at his father’s auto shop because he’s afraid to go back.
“It’s hard to be bullied and it hurts,” said Reinhard.
Reinhard says the bullying started in February. He finally told the school psychologist he was being hurt on the school bus.
“Cause I got tired of it,” he said.
Reinhard says a couple of high school boys used a lighter to heat up the eraser part of the pencil to burn him. It’s an act district officials haven’t even heard of kids doing until now.
An Apache Junction Unified School District representative said there are cameras on the bus and drivers have a list of kids who are allowed to ride. The alleged bullies were on that list, even though the mother initially said they weren’t.
“Shocked, I was appalled someone in high school was actually harming my son who’s in junior high on the bus and that there wasn’t safer transportation being provided for our children,” said Pamela Zorko.
She called the police and the school about the situation. They started investigating. But even after all that, Reinhard says he was beaten up again on Monday after school for tattling.
He says it happened after he got off the bus.
“We want our students to feel safe on our campuses. Can we say with 100 percent certainty that we’re going to be able to do that? No,” said Rep. Brian Kilgore. He said three students were disciplined. The punishment for bullying can be anywhere from detention to expulsion.
Apache Junction Police Department’s Tom Kelly said they handed over the case to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office.
A representative from the office said charges were still under review.
Tannan says she was bullied as a child and remembers being picked on in Grade 1.
“They looked at me as if I did something wrong,” Tannan said.
“They could call me mean names and would tell me how I’m not really important and that I don’t belong in this world and that hurts.”
Those experiences led to Tannan becoming a bully herself.
“I wanted them to feel my pain and how I felt,” she said. “I just wanted revenge.”
It’s taken years to deal with those emotional issues – but Tannan wasn’t alone.
Her ‘Big Sister’ mentor Laurie Anderson, has been working with Tannan since she was five.
Anderson says the two talk about Tannan’s feelings and how bullying has affected her.
“When Tannan and I first started spending time together, she didn’t know how she felt. There were all these feelings rolling up inside of her and she had no idea what to do with them,” Anderson said.
“We get to talk about everything. She’ll say some stuff that is so powerful that I’m driving down the Henday and there’s tears flowing down my eyes. She gets it. She’s able to look at how she’s feeling and verbalize it and recognize the people in her life that have helped her and want to give back.”
Anderson says she’s learned a lot from being a mentor to Tannan.
“Tannan’s made me realize that it’s important for everyone in this world to know somebody loves them just because, just because they are,” Anderson said.
“She’s got such an incredibly positive attitude. She’s able to look at what she’s done in the past and say, ‘that’s not who I want to be.’”
Long-term psychological effects for bully victims
New research says the long-term psychological effects for people who are bullied include panic disorder and anxiety.
“Victims and bullies/victims had elevated rates of young adult psychiatric disorders, but also elevated rates of childhood psychiatric disorders and family hardships,” the study finds.
“The effects of being bullied are direct, pleiotropic, and long-lasting, with the worst effects for those who are both victims and bullies.”
Wednesday is Pink Shirt Day – also known as Anti-Bullying Day, a national campaign encouraging Canadians to take a stand against bullying.
According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, at least one in three adolescent students in Canada have reported being bullied recently and 47 per cent of Canadian parents have reported having a child become a victim of bullying.
On Pink Shirt Day, Edmonton teen reflects on being bullied and bullying others
‘Making a Difference’ anti-bullying club
It’s a topic junior high students at H.E. Beriault Junior High School are trying to tackle.
There’s a new club at the school called ‘Making a Difference’ and members of the club say they’ve taken a course to learn what to do when they witness someone being bullied.
“We just give people more knowledge on how it really affects people and just to stand up for people who can’t,” says club member Esmeralda Rodas.
“If you can intervene within three seconds, the whole thing could stop,” said Jordan Rennie. “If you can intervene in any way then it’s better because you can stop the bullying.”
Some members say they’ve recently put those tactics to use and say the response they’ve been getting has been positive.
“The victim came up to me and said ‘Thank you. That means a lot. I would not be able to do that by myself,’” said Monica Dyjak.
For Tannan, her bullying experiences as a child has affected her ability to trust others.
“It really changed me,” Tannan said.
But the teen says she’s learned from her past, thanks to the help of her mentor, and now focuses on treating people the way she wants to be treated.
“I regret doing that and I’m sorry for those people who I ever did anything to,” Tannan said.
“It made me a really good person. The person I am today is the person that I’m going to be from now on.”
Statistics on bullying in Canada
40 per cent of Canadian workers experience bullying on a weekly basis.
Any participation in bullying increases risk of suicidal ideas in youth.
Among adult Canadians, 38 per cent of men and 30 per cent of women report having experienced occasional or frequent bullying during their school years.
Canada has the ninth highest rate of bullying in the 13-years-old category out of 35 countries.
7 per cent of adult Internet users in Canada, aged 18 and up, self-reported having been a victim of cyber-bullying at some point in their life.
Girls are more likely to be bullied on the Internet than boys.
Statistics from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
There are so many people to thank this month. It wasn’t that long ago that I teamed up with Giant Ant Studios in Vancouver to bring forth a project for Pink Shirt Day. Today we share it with you.
This animated piece is the result of a group of individuals coming together and binding their talents in an expression of solidarity and compassion. I am humbled by the extraordinary efforts of those who selflessly gave their time and committed themselves to bring out this message in such a beautiful way. A slow but deliberately building applause should go out to:
To This Day Project - Shane Koyczan
The animators whose beautiful work I can’t even begin to distill into words:
Diego De la Rocha
Hyun Min Bae
Waref Abu Quba
Deo Mareza and Clara
Teresa del Pozo
Eric Paoli Infanzón
Julio C. Kurokodile
Daniel Moreno Cordero
Aparajita R (This is correct, does not want last name)
Alessandro & Manfredi (Last names to come)
Giant Ant Studios
Jorge R. Canedo Estrada
for having the bravery to helm such a monumental project.
for their generosity of spirit and tireless support.
for creating such a beautiful piece of music and having the patience to explore this art form with me.
for keeping me organized and making me appear to look like I know what I’m doing.
Loretta Mozart AKA my Grandmother
Nea Reid bullying.org
for never saying “You can’t do that.” For always saying “OK… how can I help?”
A special thanks to all of the teachers, students and parents who took the time to ask if I had anything to say about bullying. You reminded me that we gather strength through sharing and that our experiences can help others navigate the rough seas around us long enough to find land.
My deepest apologies to anyone I have ever hurt with my thoughtlessness. It was never my intention to cast shadows around your light. I wish you all an unrelenting happiness and a clear path toward your pursuits. The cherished lesson that I’ve learned throughout all of this is that honour is easier to maintain than it is to restore… that , of course, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
Have you seen our new Public Service Announcement (PSA) commercial running all across Canada?
It is airing right now and reminds people that as a bystander you can end bullying in 10 seconds by just speaking up. Or as we say, “Make Some Noise Against Bullying!”!
This commercial really captures the essence of Pink Shirt Day when in September 2007 “David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied [for wearing a pink shirt]…[They] took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of a new Grade 9 student by distributing pink T-shirts to all the boys in their school.
‘I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders,’ says Mr. Price, 17, who organized the pink protest. ‘Finally, someone stood up for a weaker kid.’
So Mr. Shepherd and some other headed off to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops. They sent out message to schoolmates that night, and the next morning they hauled the shirts to school in a plastic bag.
As they stood in the foyer handing out the shirts, the bullied boy walked in. His face spoke volumes. ‘It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders,’ Mr. Price recalled.
The bullies were never heard from again.”
Pink Shirt Day 2013 - TV Commercial
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Tad Milmine still remembers the first time he had to clean his bullies’ saliva off the front door.
His tormenters were his classmates in Cambridge, Ont., with a newfound pastime of picking on the quiet, petrified-shy 16-year-old who had no friends, said little in class, and never stood up for himself.
As Milmine walked home one cold November afternoon, his tormenters trailed a few metres behind, calling him names like geek, nerd, and weakling. When he started crying, they laughed and taunted him more. Then they followed him home and spat on his front door.
“When I went to clean the spit off, I had to use my thumb to scrape it off because it was frozen,” he recalled.
The incident — repeated twice that week more than 20 years ago — is one that Milmine, now 38 and a Surrey RCMP constable, has shared with nearly 3,500 high school students in B.C. and Ontario in a one-man anti-bullying campaign he does in his spare time and on his own dime.
His goal is to share his experience about the effects of bullying, make bullies realize the impact of their actions, and let victims know there is hope — and that they have someone who knows what they are going through.
“I know what it feels like to feel alone, and bullied, and feel you’re different and not accepted,” he tells the kids.
Constable Tad Milmine Discusses Bullying On Canada AM
Milmine, whose parents were separated, also struggled with being gay, a secret he told no one until he was 25. In high school, he was bullied not because of his sexual orientation, but because of his painful shyness.
He did not ask anyone for help. He did not fight back or reach out. He only lowered his head and cried.
In his darkest moments, he struggled with thoughts of suicide.
“It was an avenue of consideration to make this all go away,” he said. “I just didn’t know there were any options out there.”
Eventually, Milmine grew out of his shell. He finished high school, moved to B.C. and became a police officer, fulfilling a childhood dream.
‘I JUST SHARE MY STORY’
Last October, Milmine read about an openly gay 15-year-old Ontario teen Jamie Hubley, who took his own life because of relentless bullying. Milmine was inspired to share his story as well as Jamie’s, with the Hubley family’s blessing.
Milmine started giving informal talks in Surrey classrooms in February. Through word of mouth, he received hundreds of requests over the summer from schools across Canada. He spent a recent vacation to Ontario making presentations to about 2,500 students in 15 schools.
“I speak from the heart,” said Milmine. “I don’t judge. I don’t criticize. I just share my story.”
His story has struck a chord. He has received hundreds of emails from teens who wrote to say thanks or ask for help and support.
The death of Port Coquitlam teen Amanda Todd, who was bullied in school and online, has also spurred more awareness of the issue, said Milmine, who spoke at Todd’s memorial service.
In the coming weeks, Milmine will be talking to students in elementary and high schools in Chilliwack, Victoria, Port Coquitlam and Prince George.
He is still juggling his advocacy work with his job as a general duty officer, but will soon be re-assigned to work with youth as part of the RCMP’s anti-bullying programs.
Milmine said he wouldn’t change what happened to him because the ugly incident shaped him.
“The fact is, I took the positives away from the negatives,” he said. “They make me who I am.”
The bill defines bullying as “aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm or humiliate the victim and which is repeated over time.”
Bullying is already banned in Virginia schools, but by offering a firm definition, Del. Jennifer McClellan (D – Richmond) said school districts can develop a more consistent policy for dealing with bullying.
“This bill codifes a definition of bullying that would apply to all schools,” McClellan said. “A lot of new studies show not only has there been an increase in bullying, but we’re starting to see the negative impact it can have on our students.
“It can affect their performance–some students even drop out because they’re being bullied. It can carry over outside of the school and have really negative impacts on the community,”
The bill also requires school divisions to have anti-bullying policies in their student codes of conduct, have education for their employees on how to create a bully-free environment, and required the Board of Education to create a model anti-bullying policy for the local school divisions.
It also provides a definition for cyber bullying, and would prohibit it by both students and staff.
“The more we really started taking a look at it, the more we realized that bullying was not just a student-to-student problem but you could have teacher-to-teacher, parent-to-teacher, student-parent,” McClellen said. “We thought we need to have a more holistic look at bullying.”
The House is expected to vote on the proposal later this week.
Half way through the second period a flash mob erupted in the north end blues! Almost 2,000 school kids from all over the Lower Mainland did an amazing job dancing a choreographed number in support of acceptance and anti-bullying awareness. The shocked crowd was on their feet as section, after section, after section unveiled their pink t-shirts while dancing in remarkable unison. The Giants also wore pink skate laces and tape in support of the cause.
Thank-you to the Vancouver Giants and Eric Hamber and Churchill Secondary Schools for MAKING SOME NOISE AGAINST BULLYING!
Anti-Bullying Flash Mob 2013 at Vancouver Giants Hockey Game!
A raft of new laws addressing crime and punishment take effect on Saturday, including a move widening a three-year-old North Carolina statute criminalizing cyberbullying to protect school employees.
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina said the law may be the first of its kind in the country, and the organization said it will seek plaintiffs for a possible court challenge to change it, contending it threatens to chill students’ free speech rights. The law threatens criminal penalties on students who use a computer with “the intent to intimidate or torment a school employee” by engaging in the same nasty online behavior that already makes it illegal to target a minor.
As with children, it becomes illegal Saturday to target a school employee by:
— Building a fake online profile or website;
— Posting private, personal, or sexual information;
— Tampering with their online networks, data or accounts:
— Signing them up to a pornographic website, or:
— Making any statement, whether true or false, likely to provoke someone else to stalk or harass a school worker.
ACLU-NC Policy Director Sarah Preston said the organization opposed the 2009 cyberbullying law aimed at protecting children for the same reason it wants to challenge this year’s extension to school workers: it’s vague, gives prosecutors too much leeway, and aims to punish speech — however stupid — simply because it’s online.
“The reality is that I’m sure students have been complaining about their teachers for as long as there have been students and teachers. They’ve been writing it on bathrooms stalls or carving it into desks or whatever. Just because they post it online doesn’t make it suddenly any less protected,” Preston said Friday. “And since we treat 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, because they write something stupid on the Internet, they could actually face some jail time.”
Penalties could be as much as 60 days in jail or a $1,000 fine for those as young as 16, who are treated as adults under state law. The ACLU wants any student charged under the new law to contact its office so that it can mount a court challenge.
Groups representing teachers sought the new law to punish children who make false accusations against teachers. The law ultimately passed the Legislature with just one opposing vote.
Another law among 19 taking effect Saturday was sought for a decade.
It allows a judge to erase the nonviolent criminal records of adults able to demonstrate they have turned their life around. Bi-partisan supporters described the need for the change with anecdotes of people who could not get jobs for decades after felony convictions or were unable to qualify for public housing assistance because of their records.
County sheriffs backed the change after the standards were raised to require evidence of a blameless life for 15 years.
“The feeling of the sheriffs is that folks who have made a mistake at some time in the past and have clearly turned their life around should get some relief at some point. But, there ought to be a pretty high bar to get over in order to get that,” North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association executive vice president Eddie Caldwell said Friday.
The law allows misdemeanors and low-level felonies erased from criminal records for convicts who display “good moral character” that others will vouch for. The law also permits probation officers to conduct a background check, district attorneys to contact victims, and judges to throw out requests they feel don’t have merit.
The left-leaning North Carolina Justice Center estimates tens of thousands of people may be eligible to have their criminal records expunged out of 1.6 million North Carolinians with criminal records.
Another bipartisan law hails back to the aftermath of former state House Speaker Jim Black, who pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge in 2007. Black pleaded to taking thousands of dollars from chiropractors while pushing their agenda at the General Assembly. He also entered an Alford plea to state charges of bribery and obstruction of justice.
The law prohibits any elected official convicted of a felony related their conduct in office from receiving state pension benefits. The felonious official could reclaim money they put into the retirement system.
Other laws taking effect include:
— making it illegal to sell, surrender, or purchase a child. The mother of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis was accused of selling the girl as a prostitute in 2009 to pay a drug debt to the man accused of killing her. Antoinette Davis was charged with human trafficking in addition to first-degree murder and rape of a child.
— creating a state-level offense of terrorism, defined as violent acts designed to intimidate the population or a government.
— toughening penalties for people who lie to get jobless benefits or to raise the amount of a benefit.
— making a fifth misdemeanor larceny a felony crime for repeat thieves with at least four convictions.
A classmate pulled him aside, accusing the Gregory of “talking bad about his family.” One boy throws an unexpected punch at Gregory, and a second chases him down to continue the slugfest, returning to the camera to throw up gang signs.
“The bigger dude started punching my ear while I’m on the ground,” Gregory told KSNV. “He does it until I’m on the ground and he starts doing it until he thinks I’m dead or something.” He says he is now dealing with some pain and bruises in his ear.
The two boys arrested in the incident and are brothers, 13 and 15 years old. The older suspect admitted to KLAS that he was captured in the video, but said he was protecting his younger brother ”because the kid [Gregory] came over to my house disrespecting my pad.”
“I’m so sorry that this was posted and more sorry for the hurt that was caused to the boy,” Hernandez wrote on her Facebook page. “There is no reason for that kind of behavior, my son will be punished for his actions. … Please know and understand that I did not raise my sons to do the things that they have done to anyone.”
Nevada ranks near the top of the country with respect to state bullying laws. The U.S. Department of Education has identified 16 “key components” in state bullying legislation, and Nevada’s law covers 12 of them, according to an Education Department analysis of state bullying laws released in December. Districts in Nevada are required to adopt a model policy recently created by the state Department of Education.
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