View Full Version : How I survived bullying in high school

Jean Poutine
September 1st, 2013, 02:32 PM
I was the typical "nerd". Roundish, with glasses, who did very well at school, and people hated me for that. I was ostracized because of my intelligence. One might call it the tyranny of the stupid.

Since calling somebody "smart" isn't much of a slur, I heard the rest. "Four-eyes", "homo" (because I didn't hang around with girls), "fattie" but that never really bothered me. What did is when people started to threaten me physically, spit on me, throw shit at me (wet parmesan and chocolate milk are those who stand out) and generally being asshats.

My mother was worried and tried to fix it herself but that never helped, that such gave them another reason to laugh at me. As usual, the school didn't do much of value. I ignored it all and trekked on, confidant that once we were older I'd be the successful one and they'd be delivering my pizza, bagging my groceries and begging me for tips.

The breaking point was when an asshole decided it'd be funny to throw a rusty, sharp knife at me. I dodged it then went the hell home. That's when I had an idea of genius : I called the cops.

Believe it or not, intimidation like this is illegal. It falls under the constituional proscriptions about general human rights. For example. s. 4 of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms in Quebec says "every person has a right to the safeguard of his dignity, honour and reputation" and s. 10 of the same law :

"Every person has a right to full and equal recognition and exercise of his human rights and freedoms, without distinction, exclusion or preference based on race, colour, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, civil status, age except as provided by law, religion, political convictions, language, ethnic or national origin, social condition, a handicap or the use of any means to palliate a handicap.

Discrimination exists where such a distinction, exclusion or preference has the effect of nullifying or impairing such right."

Although I was too young to understand it back then, that means that once the real authorities are called in, they will go talk to the offender and their family and inform them of your right to sue them. For possibly every penny they've got. Although slander in Canada must cause financial loss to be actionable, a constitutional right has no other requirement than you proving suffering and proving the remarks were made, along with the "causal link" between the two. There is a recent case in Quebec that awarded a homeless person 10,000$ simply because some douche wrote her a letter telling her how worthless she was and to get a job.

The best part is that, at least here, if you've got the standing to sue under the Charter, you can call the Human Rights Commission so that they investigate the matter, and if you have any chance to win, they will represent you in front of the courts at no charge to you.

In my case, once the police went in, I never saw that particular douche again, and all bullying towards me stopped completely.

I would recommend everyone victim of bullying to call an adequate ministry and inform him/herself of the rights to sue. Justice isn't only for the rich. Use your constitutional rights. These things are meant to be used, not just studied in school.

September 1st, 2013, 04:43 PM
Good for you sticking up for yourself and calling the police, not everyone would do that :)

Harry Smith
September 1st, 2013, 04:56 PM
That's a great story, I didn't realize you had such extensive protection from bullying