UnNews:RCMP recruit students to help fight bullying
28 January 2012
Chapel Island, Nova Scotia - RCMP and educators in a Nova Scotia First Nations community have found a new tool in their arsenal when it comes to dealing with bullies, the students themselves. For years, good-hearted but wrong-minded anti-bullying policies that tried to change the behaviour of bullies has been followed but has been met with limited to no success. Police and teachers are now focusing on empowering victims instead.
For years it was thought that bullying was caused by low self-esteem or unregulated anger but recent psychological research has contradicted these findings. While unregulated anger can sometimes lead to bullying, children with low self esteem are usually more likely to be bullied rather than be the bullies themselves. Psychologist Dr. Phillipe Rushton of the University of Western Ontario recently carried out a five year study on bullies ranging from preschoolers to CEOs of powerful corporations and found that they had traits that were almost the polar opposite of what most Canadians believed.
Rather than being impulsive and having low self-esteem, Rushton found that most bullies had an inflated ego, were cold, calculating, and cruel, lacked empathy and guilt, and had other traits that were either narcissitic or even psychopathic. "Bullies are incapable of change" he said. "They are cold hearted bitches and bastards and the only way to fight bullying is to empower the victims".
Chapel Island is one of the first communities in the country to follow Rushton's advice. The Principal of the School, who is also the leader of the reserve, Chief Grand Cherokee said that he is immediately cancelling all counselling sessions for alleged bullies since its "proven that they don't work". The RCMP has brought a full arsenal of weapons to the school in an attempt to fight the bullies.
Chief Cherokee has said any student who is being bullied can report to his office and stock up on pepper spray, tasers, and paintball guns. The student must prove that he or she is being bullied and must not have bullied another student. Teachers are also allow to refer students to the new anti-bullying progam. Plans to arm the victims with assault rifles were scrapped after some parents complained that it was too extreme. Even Chief Cherokee thinks that goes to far and believes that non-lethal methods are best to deal with bullies.
Preventative measures to help curb bullying before it starts are also being brought into the Chapel Island school. Residents of another Mi'kmaq reserve, Membertou, are donating designer clothes to the school so all students can wear the name brands so they are not beaten senseless. Wearing the wrong type of clothing is considered an invitation to bullying in many schools across Canada and the United States and Principal Cherokee does not wish to see any students beaten for such a reason.
Self-defence is also going to be an integral part of the schools physical education program. Mixed martial artist Georges "Rush" St. Pierre is being flown in from Montreal to train victims how to fight back if they are attacked by bullies. St. Pierre, who is still recovering from a knee injury he sustained in training, will teach students about striking, grappling, and submissions and show that even smaller students can defend themselves against a large hulking bully.
Most parents are onboard with the plans of the Chief and the RCMP. The Chief thinks that this progam will help to mend the relationship between the Mi'kmaq community and the police who have had a strained relationship over the years. Plans to institute similar programs across the province in both native and non-native schools is being strongly considered. Cherokee says that since the changes were instituted on Thursday, bullying has dropped by over 70% and GSP hasn't even been flown in yet. Cherokee cautions that this doesn't mean that the bullies have become nicer people, they are just scared shitless of their former victims. He had a message for all would-be bullies out there "We aren't putting up with your bullshit anymore, anyone caught bullying another student with be dealt with swiftly and harshly".
- Chris Hayes "RCMP recruit students to help fight bullying" The Cape Breton Post, January 25, 2012