Showing posts with label Anti-Bullying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anti-Bullying. Show all posts


A message for every high school teacher, and principal

Attention Dr.Phil - An Excellent Discussion on Bullying Solutions (YouTube Video)

A message for every high school teacher, and Principal

My Name is Darryl Learie . I  was severely bullied for years in high school.

I know from personal experience that bullying in school is a destructive action that is met with apathy within the public school system. 

When students are bullied, they are unable to achieve successful grades in their school work. Their survival and preservation of self becomes their only priority.  Dropping out of high school also becomes a very real coping mechanism to the bullying problem. I don't need to explain that poor grades, and unfinished schooling is detrimental to any quality of life and financial success they could have enjoyed and benefited from within their lives.

Not to mention that the above will limit their capacity to contribute to society academically and intellectually.
 Being bullied is also catalyst for future emotional, and mental illnesses (which will eventually cost the government, and effect future generations). 

The effects of bullying last far into ones adult years. And ultimately through low self-esteem and low self-worth, leads to a life of dysfunction (especially when the bullying takes place during those years when a student's brain undergoes a massive transformation in concept of self).

That student's eventual self-destruction and/or life of dysfunction does not only effect them personally but with every relationship they have in life, and future generations of children they will conceive.

When students are bullied, the abuse that they receive can only manifest in one of two ways; inward - which commonly leads to suicide, or outward - which leads to  varying degrees of aggression towards others, and  in the most extreme cases deadly violence towards others.

The public school system say that they are concerned with the continuing problem of bullying - but being actively proactive speaks far more than merely words of conviction.

There is an apathy within the school system when it comes to addressing the bullying problem. This apathy is the product of many forms of denial. Like schools that deny that they have a serious bullying problem for fear of tainting the school's public and professional image. 

Another form of this apathy is when the bullying issue is ignored because no school authority( whether it be teachers, principals, or even school trustees) will take on the responsibility of addressing it. 
Ideology is also a problem. When the success of a school is solely measured by academic performance it serves to ignore whatever casualties are suffered because the majority go on to be working members of society.

Below are some personal examples of how this apathy also limits people like myself who are willing to address the bullying issue.

I produced a video aptly named "How Bullying Changed My Life Forever," and sent links to that video, along with a letter of concern, to several important school boards and trustees and staff of the schools in the city that I live. But I have had no one ask for my further involvement in any capacity to address the issue.
In 1998, I produced an anti-bullying speech with help from an English Professor, and presented the writing to my old high school.  They were not going to share the work with their students. 

They did not offer to rework the speech with me, they simply turned it down - even though I am willing to help as a volunteer, simply hoping to have purpose in this issue.

This is the apathy I am talking about.

It is up to the schools to implement an anti-bullying atmosphere. An atmosphere where students do not act as if being at school is matter of survival of the fittest (or survival of the most popular) but rather work as a team towards the betterment of their collectively role in society.  

Just like that in a library where conflict rarely occurs because a strict, quiet atmosphere of consideration is already established and understood.

There is an answer to the bullying epidemic - but it requires a network of school authorities sharing their stories of success to the bullying problem, and implementing an anti-bullying curriculum.

It requires a constant awareness of the bullying problem and presenting that awareness to every school authority involved - for out of sight, out of mind, and thus no action.

It requires the constant celebration of all students, not just those who excel academically and/or athletically.
How many schools credit awards for moral aptitude?

Every issue starts with awareness which leads to conversation, than debate, and eventual collaborative efforts to resolve the issue at hand.

There are solutions, there are answers

It is not up to the bullied to seek out the answers, for they are simply trying to survive and should not have to problem solve what should not happen to them in the first place. For their only role is to attain an education as their right.

Is it not the job of every teacher to build up every student? For every student cannot reach their highest potential academically if they do not have a strong emotional foundation.

Society is a bee-hive where are greatest purpose is not necessarily measured by our jobs but rather by the positive impact of our relationships onto our fellow human beings.

Every person has purpose in society. 

Evil happens when good people do nothing. Be part of the solution - not part of the problem.

I created my other video - How being bullied changed my life forever, please watch and share this video with every school authority for surely they can watch 18 minutes of what I personally suffered for years.

Thank-you for reading - Darryl Learie


How being bullied changed my life forever; We are all born great - life is just a matter of proving it !

How being bullied changed my life forever - We are all born great - Life is just a matter of proving it .

I live on disability for Chronic Depression, Generalized Anxiety, and Paranoia. I also have Attention Deficit Disorder.  It's also fair to say that I suffer from a socially related anxiety and paranoia. 

I suffer from bad insomnia most nights, had my share of panic attacks - some lasting hours,  and my mind is a confusing place filled with cluttered thoughts. 

Many times, my mind will obsess over the same series of thoughts in what can be best described as a negative feedback loop of flawed logic. 

 As a result, there are too many times I remain indecisive of what I should do, and too many times I remain simply unsure of myself.

Many times I have felt as if I were the ugliest and most worthless person on the planet - it's an intense feeling of absolutely darkness - like being lost in the cold endless vacuum of space, with no hope of ever returning.
I also get haunted by thoughts to do with my past, a haunting would be the best way to describe it.
I was misdiagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic for many years, and some thought I suffered from Asperger Syndrome.

I get stressed very easily, I get scared easily.

I'm scared of life, and I'm scared of people - I said it.

I'm terrified of making new friends for fear that they will judge me for living on disability, and subsequently verbally assault me with a demeaning lecture. 

I feel a disconnect with people in general, there is a big part of me that feels somewhat alone and lost when it comes to people.

I mention my mental illness because its regressing effect through-out the years most likely played a vital role in why I fell victim to being severely  bullied in school.

And vice-versa being bullied in school most likely worsened my mental illness in a indefinable negative feedback loop. 

If I had never been bullied, perhaps I could have had enough stable self worth and a more manageable mental illness to sustain a normal life with a productive career. It's truly impossible to say.

Who is to say, people have committed suicide because of being bullied - its potential impact on any individual person cannot be measured.

To my merit, I don't drink alcohol or smoke pot, or do any drugs because such things simply do not mix well  with mental illness. I attend to my physically disabled wife of 6 years, my daughter, and my mother - all of whom I love very much . I clean house, try to take care of myself, help others when I can, and fill my life with as many accomplishments as I can. 

Most of the bullying that I suffered I suffered from grades 9 to 11. When I started grade 9 as a new student at Hillcrest junior High School in Edmonton, back in 1989 and almost finishing grade 11 at Ardrossan Junior Senior High School in Strathscona County in 1993. 

Reflecting back, I was an exceptional teenager, I never smoked cigarettes, or weed - I never touched drugs or alcohol. I never engaged in teenage sex, or even swore - I was politely spoken. I was never in trouble with the police, and I respected authority, and my parents. All the comments on my school report cards were - quiet and co-operative, and a pleasure to work with.

I had attended 12 different schools in my life, an lived in 30 homes, and there is nothing worse than being the new kid in a new school with no established friends to start with. 

I worried a lot about being accepted by my peers, and could never quite figure out how so many other students managed to be accepted. 

I was most likely an easy target because I was shy, and was afraid of conflict - so when conflict occurred - it simply got worse. I walked with my head down through-out the school halls because I was afraid of being in a strange place full of strangers.

During those few years I was slapped, spit on, suckered punched, randomly attacked, pushed through-out the halls, had my books knocked out of my hands, had food, shaving cream, pencils, and God knows what thrown at me, had my lockers vandalised, had a garbage can dropped on me from the school roof, had demeaning signs stuck on my back, and tripped.

On a daily basis I was threatened by someone wanting to beat me up, called names like nerd, loser, faggot, freak, geek, etc.

I even had people I did not even know come to me to tell me that I was a loser, and people who told others ,"don't be friends with that guy - he's a loser."

When I accomplished something great, I was accused of somehow cheating, and when I failed at something they simply rubbed it in my face - anything and everything to destroy me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
I had to eat my lunches alone everyday because no one would let me sit with them at the lunch table.
And when the teacher would ask the class to split into groups, I was further humiliated by having to be assigned to a group by a teacher. Because no-one wanted me in their group, usually they would say, "I don't want that loser in my group."

Not to mention all the constant nasty rumours spread about me - which rarely held any amount of truth what so ever. 

They made fun of every detail of my character, my long legs, my crocked left ear, the bounce in my walk, my duck feet - details that people wouldn't even notice unless the observed me very carefully. It was as if they tried so hard to find any flaw I had.

Girls would not even speak to me, even when I tried to speak to them - they ignored me like I was a Leper.
A few kids even told me that I should kill myself, that killing myself would make everyone happy and I should seriously consider doing it.

I was severely bullied - most people say they've been bullied, but not to the extent that I was. When I went to school I wore the scarlet letter on my back. 

In a strange sense I was the most popular kid, because everyone knew that I was at the very bottom of the social hierarchy. When I walked into a class I could sense that people in general simply loathed me.
Somehow being the victim to all the verbal and physical abuse meant that it was all my fault, that I deserved everything that happened to me. That was the atmosphere of the school, as far as anyone was concerned my sole purpose was for others to build their popularity by stepping on me, and entertaining themselves at my expense.

I cannot explain the atmosphere of animosity I experienced from all those in the school.
I started skipping school, it was my only defense mechanism - I could no longer handle the emotional impact from so much overwhelming negative pressure propagated from so many students. 

Nor could I mentally handle it - I was bombarded with messages from my peers that I was worthless. It severely damaged my self-worth. Shame was all I knew - shame to be myself.

My school marks suffered immensely, while everyone was getting optimal grades to pass unto college or university - I was barely passing my classes. I could not focus on my school work - survival was my first priority.

For a short time I did drop out of High-School completely. I was a High-School dropout. But I somehow had enough resiliency to eventually graduate from High-School.

Reflecting back, my human rights were violated, and the Edmonton and Strathscona School board failed me. Every human has the right to be educated, and all I learned was that people have nothing but contempt for me, and that there is an inherent cruelty in every person.

I remember one incident where I paired up with a friend during wrestling  in gym class, and I inadvertently and unintentionally broke his arm - after class dozens of students wanted to shake my hand because they hated him just as much as they hated me.

That is psychopathic. And sick.

That is one lesson that sticks with me to this day - in every person there is evil, every person has the capacity to do and allow evil.

It's not just the bullies, it's the bystanders too. The people who see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, because they teach everyone else that the bullies are justified in what they do. And the bystanders, especially the girls I noticed, promoted the bullies by ignoring me, because they feared that if they were seen conversing with me it would ruin their reputation. 

Being a social animal is a double edged sword.

Girls dated the bullies who tormented me, what kind of message is that? 

And ironically the ones who bullied me the most were the ones who knew me the least.
I was betrayed by my own people. 

And the thing is that a victim of bullying can either explode inward or outward, that is to hurt themselves as in suicide or hurt others.

I reached out to the school counselor on a weekly basis but nothing was changing. I had to go to school - I had no choice if I didn't I got into trouble. It didn't matter after a while if I stuck up for myself because they would retaliate even worse. 

I just wanted it to stop. I was confused and lost with no supports. 

every person has their breaking point, and the scary reality of bullying is that the bullies will push you to your breaking point by any means necessary. 

When you go through the bullying I went through as a teenager, you believe this will be the rest of your life. You really just want to die but are too afraid to kill yourself.

After High-School I was haunted for years by the same re-occurring nightmare,  I would be sitting in class at school and all the kids would gang up on me and beat me with wooden bats.
I graduated in 1995, but I had 5 subsequent suicide attempts from 1994 to 2000. 

2 of my suicide attempts were almost successful - the doctors were not sure if I was going to make it.
And those suicide attempts were the result of being haunted by the bullying I endured. Because I had this damaged identity that I was a lowly worthless person. That I had to hide this damaged identity in my everyday life - it was my shameful secret to bear.

Rejection and pain continued to haunt me. even after high school I had to walk with that worthless person who was me. 

It took years to get over the trauma I suffered in High School. 

I'm 40 years-old, now, and I'm starting to come to terms with what happened to me for those few years. I'm starting to accept what happened to me, and at 40 years-old I am making this video. I am really surprised that I was never diagnosed with post traumatic syndrome.

Bullying has changed my life forever, I even tried to upgrade my schooling past my High-School Diploma but could not do it because when I sat in a class of adult students - I felt that I did not belong there - it was too reminiscent of being in school when I was in grade 11.  Sure I was not bullied in an adult class but it felt so wrong to me even though I wanted to learn.

So within my life I have been plagued (cursed) with both mental illness, and bullying. Surely bullying resulted in my mental illness getting that much worse, and surely my mental illness made me vulnerable to being bullied in the first place.

And the effect of being bullied and the effect of my mental illness affected what I could pursue in the public - like upgrading, going to college, or even university, or working with people.

There was a girl who posted a YouTube video about being bullied in school ,the video at first only received a few views. And it was not until she committed suicide shortly after that her video made the news and subsequently went viral. 

It's so disheartening to think that some people have to become martyrs just so their message can be heard - especially when the message is so important.

I know that if one of my suicide attempts had been successful, I would have missed out on what I was meant to do in life. I don't think my death would had made the news.
However, there was a seed planted within me, because of being bullied I had started to developed a blood thirsty hunger to be better, not just better, but the best - because I could not accept that I was so worthless as person.

I had to be destined for something greater than what I endured in school. There had to be a reason for it all - it had to be the type of mental training a super-hero would go through - like fighting all their villains all at once.

The greatest story is one where a man can rise beyond his greatest tragedy, and become a champion. When I was bullied I was at my lowest point in life - it was my greatest tragedy. Hero's are born from tragedy.
The Finnish call it Sisu - it means to win when all the odds are stacked against you.

Back in 1993, September 10th in a bid to improve my life I created my Personal Records Book - a book detailing all of my personal records. The idea was simple, set a record and break it, and break that record - until I got so good I was unbeatable.

I had something to prove. I was going to be better than average - better yet I would refuse to be average.
I was an under-dog that developed a blood thirsty hunger to be at the top - not the bottom.

I started with no self-worth, completely broken down from being bullied, and even after High School I had my crippling mental illness to deal with. I worked hard to break more and more personal records meanwhile  I went through months of depression, a lot of self doubt, and too many episodes of hopelessness. 

My first major accomplishment was in 1994, March 12th, I won my first public athletic event - a 27 story stair climb hosted by the Sexual Assault Center - I was the Summit Up Champion.

2010 June 6th, I was featured in the Edmonton Sun on page 2 in a nationwide article from Vancouver to Toronto, and seen by all of Canada. The article's name, "Kite Flyer's eye in the sky."

2011 November 1st, I was published in my first book ever, The RecordSetters Book of World Records (page 86).

2012 January 5th, I held 3 world records with (also known as Alternative Records) - the 2nd largest record company to Guinness.

My push-up record with (one-armed, with hand on a raw egg)

Member of Rekord-Klub Saxonia

(3 world records listed with The Book of Alternative Records)

2012 September 1st, I was published in my second book, "Ripley's Believe It or Not - download the weird" 9th Annual Hard Cover (page 160). For my 11 one-arm push-ups on a raw egg without breaking the egg. The odds of being in the book sold world-wide were 1 in 2.6 million. 

2013 November 13th, I received my first Guinness World Record Certificate for most balloons blown up in 1 hour. The odds of getting a Guinness World Record are 1 in 175,000.

85 times I have been in newspapers or on tv.

I went from being bullied, and having to endure through crippling my mental illness to become a Guinness World Record Holder, and a Ripley's Believe It or Not - not to mention 3 other world records, also published in 2 books. 

And in 2014, my YouTube Channel reached 1 million views! My top video has 192,000 views!
If I had never been bullied - I would have never been a Guinness World Record Holder, and a Ripley's Believe It or Not.

I accomplished my dreams in life. this was the hardest video I have ever done, but I believe it is my life purpose to spread my message - I don't know how my video or its message will be received but I had to do this video - it is my life, and it's important to me.

We are all born great - life is just a matter of proving it.

                                         (YouTube Video - How being bullied changed my life forever)