The photo on the front page of the July 7 issue of The Packet (The Pilot sister newspaper in Clarenville) featured a photo of two grief stricken parents. They were holding a torn and tattered jacket belonging to their nine-year-old son.
Their son is a victim of bullying. A group of kids had tied a rope around his waist and dragged him down the sidewalk. The boy used his sleeves to protect the palms of his hands from the concrete. They hauled him through the mud and threw large stones at him.
It isn’t the first time the boy has been a victim of bullying, but the serious nature of the incident prompted the parents to go forward to the media with their story. It couldn’t have been an easy decision for the parents to make their private matters public. But their concern is that the bullying has escalated and they worry about where this can lead. “What’s it going to be the third time – a rope around his neck?” the father said.
The parents also noted that the bullies were under the age of 12, so there was no legal course of action for them to pursue. They said they didn’t want to press charges anyway. What they want is for the bullying to stop and for their son to feel a sense of safety once again.