A national anti-bullying organization is calling for the public’s help to keep the organization alive.
Currently, the registered charity BullyingCanada doesn’t have enough cash to operate at full capacity next month, the service’s officials said in a statement.
“Without financial support of citizens across Canada we simply will not be able to keep up operations; bills are coming in with now way to pay them,” BullyingCanada co-founder Rob Frenette stated. “We need the public’s help.”
The announcement came the day after 15-year-old Amanda Todd, from Port Coquitlam, committed suicide after she revealed in a YouTube video she experienced blackmail, bullying and physical assault.
The incident stirred up bad memories for Squamish resident Bianca Peters and her son, Jacksen. Two years ago, Jacksen, then 13-year-old and his 14-year-old friend, Austin Aldridge, were incessantly bullied. Aldridge ended up in the hospital with a concussion and broken hand after being forced into a fight which was videotaped and posted on YouTube.
Todd’s incident was so tragic because she didn’t feel she could go to the police, Jacksen told his mother. Peters, who created the Facebook group Bully Free Howe Sound, said she thinks students need to be educated that bullying is criminal behaviour. That’s where support groups, such as BullyingCanada, come in, Peters said.
“I think any program that supports children in a time of crisis is definitely a good thing to have,” she said, adding that youth need to be taught about the dangers of cyber-bullying. “On a local level, I think there should be a chapter here too.”
In its sixth year of operation, BullyingCanada provides a 24/7 support line that receives approximately 10,000 calls a month. On average, 5,000 youth reach out to the network online.
BullyingCanada works directly with schools and families from across Canada to ensure that support in a bullying situation is provided to anyone involved. Last year, the organization collected $40,325 in donations.
To make a donation or for more information visit www.bullyingcanada.ca or call 1-877-947-3674.