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Violence in schools isn’t something new, it’s just something the media is finally harping on about again (since fewer of Tiger Woods’ texts are available to deconstruct for hours).

My heart goes out to the friends and families of Mike McDonald, who was tragically murdered outside his school yesterday afternoon. By all accounts, this kid was a sweet guy who was allegedly in a dispute “about a girl and 10 bucks” (TORONTO STAR).

In Missisauga, another GTA suburb, another teen was left fighting for his life after a stabbing outside an elementary school.

What the fuck, people? We all know this is wrong, and tragic, and unnecessary. Who is looking after our youth when these stories are a blip on the public radar, something for retired people to phone in and comment on on the News At Noon?

I have spoken to several friends and artists and an organization called Beatbullying in the UK (that unfortunately doesn’t have a Canadian chapter), but there seems to be a gap here in Canada (or certainly in the GTA) to address teen violence and its victims. I am very interested in working with any non-religious programming in order to address these issues – it’s the public’s lack of interest/awareness that continues to allow this kind of thing to be prevalent in schools and out.

It guts me that there are kids who are scared, taunted, ridiculed by peers about everything from their weight, their nationality, their sexuality and feel like they don’t have any other options than violence – either towards others or themselves. Peer pressure and bullying contribute to the overwhelming pressures facing teens today who, regardless of what mom & dad think about “back in my day”, are not being equipped properly to deal with those pressures.

High School Fucking Sucks. End Of. It really doesn’t matter if you’re the blonde Barbie or the quiet one in the corner, the “weird girl” or the football hero — you will never think of the people in your high school once you leave it behind. It’s so daunting, I’m sure, that it must feel inescapable when school society is in your home — on your laptop, coming in via text, but try and hold out. The weird kid will become some famous artist and Barbie probably has some horrible family issues that contribute to her anorexia and make her want to act superior. Everyone is all fucked up in High School. Just try and suck it up and get through it without too many scars. Don’t hurt people. Try not to get hurt.

Love.

xx

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