Showing posts with label Bullied. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bullied. Show all posts


Interview with anti-bullying activist Manwar Khan - Don't be a bystander

                                          Interview with anti-bullying activist Manwar Khan (YouTube Video)

  I had the pleasure of interviewing anti-bullying activist and advocate, Manwar Khan.

  Manwar, 37 felt the urgent need to initiate his, 'Don't be a bystander' campaign rallies across the province of Alberta soon after trying in vain to intervene and stop the 2012, December 28th deadly beating of John Hollar ,29 on the Edmonton LRT by Jeremy Newborn, 32.

  During the incident, Manwar had called on bystanders on the train to intervene and help him stop the beating with no success. His last resort was to pull the alarm on the train notifying LRT authorities of the deadly situation.

  As a result, Manwar was recognized as a hero for his actions on that day by the local media.

  During the interview, Manwar proposed the following questions which would allow him to present his best insights to the bystander problem.

  Manwar believes that bystanders have the powerful potential to stop bullying when it occurs. And his message is a simple one - do not be a bystander, speak up, get help. His purpose is one of spreading awareness of this message.

  The bystander problem is especially pervasive in countless incidents of High-School bullying across North America. When bystanders silently watch bullying occur they are not protesting the injustice but rather their silence sends a strong message that they approve of the bullying (whether intentional or not). This reality can be summed up best by the following quote,"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

  Manwar does not suggest that we alone courageously put ourselves at risk by joining a fight that we witness. The fear of becoming involved in the bullying, and thus becoming bullied is one that lead too many bystanders to not intervene. But the problem occurs when the number of bystanders far out number the bully and thus the bullying can be immediately stopped, but it is not stopped.

  Too many times crowds of people fail to realize their power in being united to stop violence because individually they are all too scared to be the one to initiate action.

  Other times, bystanders justify their inaction thinking, 'it's not my business', 'maybe they deserve it', 'I don't know enough to intervene', 'I don't want to take the wrong side.'

  But the goal should not be one of judgement, it should be one of stopping the violence from occurring. We can still call the police on our cell phones, or ask others to help report it or stop the violence from continuing on.

  We need to be the example we wish to see in others if we were to be the ones unjustly being hurt by someone. What would we as individuals want others to do if someone was beating us, and dozens of people witnessed our demise? What if it were one of our loved ones in the same situation; our children, our brothers and sisters, our friends?

  And we also need to consider how would it affect us personaly if we could have save a human life, and we simply did nothing? 

  I believe there needs to be more awareness met with much discussion and dialogue. The bystander problem is a complex one that needs to be addressed with constructive criticism, and debate concerning proposed solutions.

Whether or not you agree if what I have had to say, the fact is doing nothing is not a solution to the bullying problem.

Darryl Learie




Interview with Lowell Levine - President of the Stop Bullying Now Foundation

Interview with Lowell Levine - President of the Stop Bullying Now Foundation

                                Anti-bullying interview with Lowell Levine President of Stop Bullying Now Foundation (YouTube video)


  I have had the pleasure of interviewing anti-bullying advocate Lowell Levine who is the president of the Stop Bullying Now Foundation

  The Foundation operating out of United States, Florida provides education on bullies, and bullying for children, teens, parents, and grandparents. The foundation also works with the schools advocating on behalf of the bullied.

  Their economic model allows them to operate purely on donations from companies, organizations, and individuals who are empathetic to their cause. Thus there is no cost to those requiring their help.

  Lowell, has stated that he is one of the top 3 anti-bullying advocates in the country - effectively helping hundreds of bullied children.

  You can reach Lowell at 1-561-374-0673. Or check out his website at the following link; 


 Lowell has said that one of the biggest challenges in his work is getting the schools to cooperate in reducing the bullying problem. In his opinion, the schools are more concerned about their image than those being bullied within their schools. And school administrators fear that addressing a bullying problem in their school could lead them to lose their jobs. 

 He also points out that no school has a true,'no tolerance' policy when it comes to bullying. And that most schools are inadequately educated on handling the bullying problem but persist to make no constructive changes. 

 I for one would have to agree with Lowell's assertion. I have personally mailed and shared my bullying story with every school principle,  school superintendent,  school board member, including the minister of education here in my city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - and not one of them offered to meet me to discuss the bullying problem. 

 There seems to be a silent conspiracy where schools simply do not want to deal with the bullying problem. Perhaps they are afraid to admit that the education system is incompetent when dealing with the bullying issue. 

  Bullying is first experienced and learned in the home or within the school. Schools therefore should be concerned with not only the well being of their students but the emotional nurturing of their students. 

  I believe schools need to be concerned with building and teaching emotional intelligence within their students - not just promoting academic performance. The truth is that those who have a great deal of emotional intelligence tend to be quite successful in their own lives. 

 Every school has a bullying problem. What the schools do not realize is that if they admitted that they had a bullying problem and were genuinely seeking resolution - their image would be one of a school of integrity that genuinely cares about the well being of their students. 

  There is a cost to schools that choose to ignore the bullying problem - and that is more High School drop outs, and a over-all lower academic success of that school. 

  But Schools ought to consider that they are the one's responsible for the type of society that we ultimately have. Because they teach those of us that make up society. 

  We can either have a society that is empathetic, understanding, compassionate and made up of effective communicators . Or a society only concerned about academic and financial success at the cost of others. 

If you live in the United States, and are feeling hopeless or helpless or know someone that is, please call; LIFELINE 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

  Darryl Learie




Dignity and Respect (An Anti-Bullying Speech)


It was his destiny to be born hundreds of generations down the line of life from Adam and Eve. Born one thousand, nine hundred and seventy‑three years after the birth of Christ himself. On the event of his birth, the three wise men were not there to bring precious gifts. But God himself still saw promise in this spark of life.

At the age of ten he would calmly stand in the house of his grandparents as it was slowly being torn apart from a fierce hurricane, reassuring everyone "it will be alright". He would stand witness to his mother speak of suicide. Haunted by such news he would repeatedly tell her "please, don’t do it”. He had an unlimited curiosity about the world around him. Indulging in his natural curiosity he spent his time excitedly taking apart t.v’s, radios, vcr's and some of his own toys to see how they worked.

Soon he learned of great leaders who changed the world and started from humble beginnings. Realizing that even he could, if he really wanted to, carry great potential. Rather bored by school itself, he would spend his day dreaming of how one day he would change the world in some awesome, profound way.

Unfortunately, the French revolution, the multiplication table, conjunctions and adjectives, just did not fall into his great plan to conquer all evils of the world. As a result his marks fell dangerously low, prompting his father to ingrain the belief in him that, "if you're not successful in school, you’ll never be successful in life".

Throughout his school life he would be going to many different schools across the country. Always being forced into the eerie situation of negotiating a new set of friends. Always being the new kid.

Soon after he turned sixteen his parents were finalizing a devastating divorce Consequently his mother promised him that his high school years would be in the country and that they would no longer move.

He greatly anticipated his high school life, remembering stories of d friends, have a good time and get good marks. Maybe even move onto college or even university. All of his life's potential seemed to rest on these last three years of high school life. This was his chance to be truly successful just as his father had ingrained in his mind.

Fate would very soon turn a very ugly face to him, for his inhibitions would do him no favors. Even though he was most motivated to make a legend out of his life. He was quiet, shy, easily intimidated and had a slight fear of large crowds.

And so on September First, nineteen ninety‑one his ugly fate quickly unfolded. He went on to do as he always had done, try to negotiate a new set of friends. Although he sensed something quite odd. It seemed that every time he tried to introduce himself, people seemed cold and uninterested. He thought to himself "there's over a thousand people in this school, is it possible that I have nothing in common with anyone?”And weeks started going by and there he was still alone with no friends. He had started feeling quite concerned. This had never happened to him before.

The situation only perpetuated itself, in the course of his classes the teacher would often say,” okay everyone split into groups”. And so the class would split into groups of three or four and often he would be left standing alone, faced with the embarrassment of being intentionally singled out.

He would in the course of his humility only hope the teacher would quickly assign him to any group to end his discomfort at the situation. But time and time again, history would repeat itself.

Every time the frightening words came,” okay split into groups”. There He would be once again standing by himself. His heart pounding hard, sweating and an uncontrollable blush that would cover his face with a bright red complextion.At times he tried to anticipate his move asking, "can I join your group?”But the words replied were usually quite harsh, "I don't want that goof in my group”

As months slowly dragged by he developed a fearful complex. He prayed every day to God before school, that in all of his classes in the day the teacher won't ask the class to split into groups.

The lunch bell ringing always brought a sense of relief to his worries at least for an hour. Too many times he found himself eating alone in the lunch room. So he would walk around asking others,” do you mind if I eat here?”The common reply would be "no, my friend is sitting here ", then they would laugh. He did find a group of people that didn't reject him at the lunch room table they just ignored him. And to him that was a better trade‑off.

So for the most part he would go to the library and read books. He noticed the library had chess games. He would set up the chess board and invite people to play against him. His hopes were that he could stir up a conversation throughout the game and maybe make a friend. He did manage to make two friends unfortunately neither was in his grade so it had no effect on his overall status.

His social situation still looked quite dreadful. He kept trying to build friendships with others over chess but as it would seem that he would make another friend, others would approach that person to deter them with throbbing statements like,” don’t hang with him, he’s a nerd nobody likes him "

It was severely disturbing to him that other people would almost anything to deter others from being his friend.

"These are my high school years they are supposed to be my best years”. This ideal he so much anticipated was smashed, obliterated utterly destroyed beyond comprehension.

The utter ugliness of the situation was only reinforced as people would approach him in the halls to remind him of his lowly status,” nerd, goof, faggot, loser “, and whatever other harsh label they put on him.

They even went to the extreme of spreading ridiculous rumors about him and constantly threatening him.

He found himself with no choice but to accept his ugly reality,” nobody likes me ".He realized that he was, what nobody wanted to be, 'the social outcast’.

He tried to escape his painful reality by skipping school and taking up dancing. Hip Hop and Break d thrilling thing a person could do, he thought.

Skipping school and working on dance moves soon became a habit in itself. This became a way of life to him but the situation only worsened. On the days when he did catch the school bus to go to school he would take his seat for the forty‑minute ride. The other people on the bus took the opportunity of throwing things at him, pennies, pencils, books and sometimes they would even spit on him. The pressure was building and because of all the school he had skipped his marks were dangerously low.

When school finished for the day he would be at home contemplating his pathetic existence, to take his mind off it since it was becoming unbearable he started doing push‑ups.

And so after school he would faithfully do his push‑ups in whatever sets he could handle. And of course practicing his dancing. Now his only pleasure was his push‑ups, wich he was getting better at, and his dancing.

Just after his eighteenth birthday he started going to night clubs to dance, this gave rise to a most ugly dilemma. Now he had his mother and the school authorities who insisted he did not miss school to deal with, and if he went to school he would have to deal with the students who worked at their popularity at his expense, making fun and jokes about him was the new fad.

After almost two years of this horrid situation he made his decision,” not to attend school, until they put him into another school”. For there seemed to be no resolution to his problem, at this point whenever he stuck up for himself, the threats against him only got worse.

But this was not the end of his efforts for in the last months he danced in school, sometimes he even went to school dances but was always laughed at and mocked. At one time he even asked a newly formed dance crew at school if he could join and was rejected with "you're a loser".

His last efforts did not end there for he had quite a natural gift for drawing. In exhibiting his gift for drawing to win people's approval they often seemed jealous and accused him of paying others to have drawn it for him.

Fortunately they did transfer him to another school where to his benefit there were only two months until summer. Though not enough time for history to repeat itself.

So as summer kicked in he became convinced in every which way that no matter how true to himself he was, nobody would like him. It was his reality that people did not like who he was as a person. I mean let's consider, day after day, week after week, month after month, people went out of their way to tell him,” you’re a loser, you’re a nerd, you’re a goof”.

So he contemplated his future where he would always be pushed around or stepped on and of course single all of his life. He did not want that kind of life so he decided maybe he could win people's approval by being really good at something.

His‑first obsession was his push‑ups. He kept track and started breaking all sorts of obscure push‑up records. Night after night he would try to do more than he did the night before. When he went dancing at the night clubs he would practice his moves over and over. Constantly asking other good dancers,” how do you do that?”

However to his dismay he had no talent for dancing and absolutely no rhythm. And yet his easy going humbled nature and his passionate love for dance aroused an enthusiastic approval from those in the night clubs. This new‑found approval stirred feelings within him. He decided that he would not live up to this negative image given to him in school. He would not be the wimpy, goofy nerd that he was unjustly labeled as. So he religiously practiced his dancing, and did what ever he could to build friendships with other good dancers. And every time he danced he would ask others "did I do good?”But his progress in dancing was quite slow.

After some time the real world showed him more affection than he ever had in school. Out of this and his new‑found approval grew within him a certain kind of anguish towards his past in school.

He started to look for opportunities to show those from his past that he was not a wimpy goofy nerd. His so‑called potential and enthusiasm granted him this opportunity.

He joined an inner city dance crew "The Magoo Crew”. The leader "Mr. Magoo” believed he had potential. In a short time now being "Dancer Magoo" he danced with the others on a first‑time television show,” Dance TV”. In that occasion he felt exhilarated dancing on Channel 1O.And helping his crew bring home second place in a hip hop, rap contest.

Even though he only had five minutes of fame, he thought it was absolutely the sweetest revenge one could have.

After some time his name was mentioned in a newspaper article about The Magoo Crew. This time as “Nine Nine Nine Magoo”. Not to mention a group picture of The Magoo Crew appeared in the Edmonton Journal.

And by no means was he even the best dancer but it was sweet. And to top it off he even got to be the Edmonton Sunshine Boy.

But he still kept at his push‑ups and started writing letters to Guinness. He figured if his name was in the book of world records that would be awesome revenge.

He wrote dozens of letters, with no replies until one day. Charles Servizio, who did 46,001 push‑ups in a single day, wrote him a letter.

Servizio said he was touched by the letter he received which was about doing a twelve hour push‑up marathon to raise money for charity. From that point on they would speak many times over the phone.

The record holder told him that he had heart and definitely had the potential to one day set a new record. And so doing his push‑ups became serious to him.

He pursued his hopeful ideology with personal dance demo's and updating his records until he reached the age of 25 years.

Once‑again this hopeful ideology of revenge by out‑doing those who mocked and betrayed him was smashed.

The anger within him was hurting too much, the revenge was not satisfying. He was still haunted by his past; the horror was still with him. He even had nightmares of being in class not being able to understand the teacher then the students would start to beat him with bats.

He started to realize that he had not seen those who haunted him in school for a long time. He started thinking,” What if, they never saw me in the paper or on television?”, “Who even reads the paper?” he thought.

He would always have hoped to resolve his own issue. After all they stole a piece of him, that he never could get back. His dignity and respect. How could he ever resolve his issue if he could never confront those who betrayed and wronged him?

He quickly realized dancing is just dancing. And who cares how many push‑ups one could do?

It was evident from his nightmares that when forced into a social situation, failure was his inevitable fate. Depression hit him hard, his reality now,” to be or not to be ".He decided "not to be”. He brought himself to the bravest moment of his life; He knew that there would be no turning back. He grabbed the pills, his heart pounding, his hands sweating and shaking. He swallowed all of them.

He slowly fell asleep, now God himself with the last word would decide if there was any point.

The story I told is the true story of my very best friend, a person who loves me more than anything in this world. And he is here today standing on this podium. Speaking to you.

Thank you
by: Darryl Learie 
Edited and Co-Authored by, John Thompson (Professor of English, University of Alberta) 

September 30 1998


My Letters to Dr.Phil - Bullying

Quick Statistics as of 2017 02 11
Pages mailed to the Dr.Phil Show : 88
E-mails sent to the Dr.Phil Show : 64
YouTube Videos Published to get Dr.Phil's Attention : 7
Petition to get unto the Dr.Phil : 56 Signatures

Current Status : Awaiting response from the Dr.Phil Show 


  From 2016 04 17 to 2017 02 11, I have written 64 e-mails to the Dr.Phil show. And on 2016 06 01, I also sent Dr.Phil a 46 page letter. (To view the 46 page letter mailed to Dr.Phil click the link below)

 46 page letter mailed to Dr.Phil

 46 page letter mailed to Dr.Phil

  And just to demonstrate to Dr.Phil just how determined I was to be on the Dr.Phil show, I shot a YouTube video on 2016 05 07 of myself holding a sign that read,"Please Dr.Phil, please let me share my story of being bullied, on your show #Stop Bullying." I stood and held the sign for 3.5 hours starting with 100 lbs on my back, and eventually stepping down the weight to 75 lbs, than 50 lbs.

                                         Most Determined to Get Dr.Phil's Attention (YouTube Video)

  Alas, On 2016 06 18, I also started an on-line petition asking for people to support me in sharing my bullying story on the Dr.Phil Show. I personally messaged all 250 of my Facebook and Twitter friends asking them to sign my petition or at least share my petition on their Facebook. By 2016 07 06, I received, 56 signatures. That's 56 people who support what I am doing, who believe in what I am doing.

  You can sign the petition in the form below. You can even sign it anonymously (your name will not be publicly revealed). The Petition will ask for your e-mail - only to conform that your not a spam-bot, your e-mail will not be made public, and you will not end up on any mailing lists

Below is the link to the petition;

Petition - Support me my sharing my bullying story on The Dr.Phil Show

  And below is another is anti-bullying video posted 2016 06 21 meant to get Dr.Phil's attention, aptly named,'My Journey to The Dr.Phil Show.'

                                         My Journey to The Dr.Phil Show (YouTube Video)

  On 2016 06 27, my petition (with 50 signatures) with a 5 page letter was mailed to the Dr.Phil show. You can view the petition, and the 5 page letter by clicking on the link below.

  Petition (50 signatures) with 5 page letter mailed to Dr.Phil

  On 2016 08 24, I created yet another YouTube video meant to get Dr.Phil's attention. The video was named,"Attention Dr.Phil - An Excellent Discussion on Bullying Solutions." The video was meant to show Dr.Phil that I also have solutions to the bullying problem.

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

  2016 08 28, I decided to shoot another YouTube video personally addressing Dr.Phil. The video was aptly named,"My personal message to Dr.Phil McGraw - The high cost of bullying."

My personal message to Dr.Phil McGraw - The high cost of bullying (YouTube Video)

  On 2016 09 01, I even wished Dr.Phil Phil a happy 66th Birthday. I thought the extra effort of making a YouTube video wishing him a happy birthday was a nice sentiment.

  Happy Birthday Dr.Phil McGraw - Happy 66th Birthday (YouTube Video)

   On 2016 12 02, I published another YouTube Video aptly named, "A criticism for Dr.Phil to strongly consider". I was feeling upset that I had written 46 e-mails to the show, and have not received a single response. However controversial, I criticized the Dr.Phil Show on behalf of all those desperate souls writing the show over and over again and receiving no response. It seemed to me that the process of it all causes un-necessary anguish among the many who will never get unto the show.

                                      A criticism for Dr.Phil to Strongly Consider (YouTube Video)

 On 2016 12 13, I sent the Dr.Phil show a 37 page letter. 34 pages of that letter were a copy of all of the 50-emails I had sent to the show through the Dr.Phil website.

37 Page Letter Mailed to Dr.Phil (no need to show 34 pages that were a copy of e-mails sent)

                                           37 page letter mailed to the Dr.Phil Show

 I am hoping to get on as a guest to share my story of being bullied from grade 9 to 12, and how the negative consequences of such has affected me long into my adult life. 

  I am hoping to either be interviewed by Dr.Phil on my experience or have a chance to give an anti-bullying speech on his show. 

  The reason I want to share my story on Dr.Phil is because I have encountered much apathy and a general lack of interest sharing my story with schools, principles, school trustees, local media, on YouTube, and even within my own blog. 

  I've worked hard on sharing my story, presenting my story, spending hours rewriting while sipping on cold cups of coffee, and getting friends to criticize and help re-edit the perfect presentation. I've even spent a couple hundred dollars of my own monies to try to help promote the sharing of my story on my ant-bullying videos on YouTube.

  My basic premise is this; I want the world to know that bullying can lead to damaging effects on a person's life long into their adult years - changing who they are, forever destroying their self concept, and result in mental health issues. 

  Below are my e-mails to the Dr.Phil website (The website only allows e-mails of 250 words or less) - they explain quite a bit. I will not give up.


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