How to find out if you are being bullied in Canada’s schools
By Laura Miller The Globe and Mail StaffThe social media world is filled with stories of bullying.
But how much is the truth behind it?
We asked experts to give us a breakdown of the facts about bullying in Canada and across the world.
Here’s what we found.
It’s difficult to get a sense of what bullying looks like.
But the good news is that most bullying incidents occur online.
In Canada, about one in five bullying incidents in schools occur online, according to data from Statistics Canada.
And most bullying is directed at people of a certain age, gender or race.
In most cases, the bullying involves a physical or emotional threat, said Pauline Sacco, the director of research at the Centre for Children and Youth Services in Calgary.
In one survey, almost a quarter of students who were bullied by peers in Grade 9 said they received verbal or physical abuse from classmates.
“The bullying has a big impact on their lives,” said Sacco.
“I think it’s pretty safe to say that they are not going to be able to move forward in life.
They’re going to have difficulty getting into college, they’re going a little bit further behind and they are going to suffer from it.”
Boys often bully girls.
And in some cases, boys will be seen as bullies even if they are in the same grade.
But bullying can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age or background, said Laura Miller, the former director of the school bullying program at the University of Calgary.
When it comes to bullying, the rules are different in each country, Miller said.
“In many places, the laws are very clear that it’s OK for people to bully people,” she said.
Bullying can take many forms.
A bully can threaten to physically attack another person.
A child may be told that his or her classmates are bad or lazy, or that the school has a bad reputation.
In the United States, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) has a database of bullying cases, which the group says has more than 3,000.
In the United Kingdom, there is a national bullying prevention plan, which NCTE says provides guidance to schools on how to deal with bullying, how to report bullying and what the impact of bullying can be.
A child may bully another child, but this is rare, said Andrea Sosnowski, a researcher at the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, an Ottawa-based research centre.
Bullies often have a motive.
In some cases it could be a social or economic one.
A father who bullies his son can be seen to have a legitimate grievance because he’s losing his job and the father may have a strong sense of grievance.
In other cases, it could just be because of the child’s disability, such as a deaf child, or an autism spectrum disorder, such a Asperger’s or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
“There’s an element of the victim blaming,” said Miller.
In some cases bullying can occur with or without physical threats, but the majority of bullying occurs with physical violence.
The Canadian Centre on Violence Against Women has compiled data showing that more than half of the children in Ontario and Alberta who were victims of physical or sexual violence in 2016 were girls.
“It’s very common for boys to bully girls,” said Michaela Bercovici, the research coordinator at the National Council on Disability and Mental Health.
Bullied children often experience social and emotional abuse.
“If a child is bullied, it’s a very traumatic experience,” said Anne Hough, the national director of youth employment and training at the Ontario Association of School Administrators.
“You have a really strong sense that they’re being abused, that they feel worthless, that their feelings are not valued, and that they have no other options.”
Bully children may have to leave school.
This is a particularly difficult experience for boys, as bullying can take place at school, where they may have been bullied as young as six years old.
Bully boys may also be ostracized or harassed in school.
And it can happen at home.
“A lot of times bullying in schools can happen because parents and teachers have a very hard time understanding what bullying is and why it happens,” said Bercovići.
In one survey from 2013, almost four in 10 boys in Canada reported having been bullied by someone of a different gender, while nearly one in 10 girls reported being bullied by a different person.
“When you have a culture of fear, you don’t really have a lot of opportunities to do things that you might otherwise do,” said Hough.
“Bullying is a way of trying to undermine confidence and to make it less real.”
Breathing new airThere are some important steps children can take to fight bullying, said Dr. Rebecca M. Gifford, a social worker and professor of pediatrics at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
She said children can learn to breathe new