To the Editor
Thank you so much for the informative and well researched article by Sue Tiffin entitled “Students work to stop bullying.” As a parent of two teenagers and a professional who works to help others in our community I am hearing and having this conversation with our youth multi-sector front line workers and directors/leaders of varying organizations. I attended the Summit held by Point in Time attempted to volunteer my time to support our youth through an informal after school drop in program and am an active member of multiple online forums with local parents hoping to converse and find hope in an extremely dark time for our community.
I believe these conversations are essential and having our local media shine a light on the issues of youth (not just bullying but suicide/harm prevention youth needs and general navigation of an utterly difficult time) with a focus on what is being done in our community is important for information sharing.
As outlined in your well written editorial we need to be informed by our youth to make the next best steps but along with that we need to rise up as a community and provide grounded conversations of shared fear but also empowered and solution-focused leadership from ALL of us.
I believe that the only way through this crisis is to create a youth informed solution to it. We must remember to take responsibility not only as a community but as individuals in order to focus our solutions conversations posts and feedback in a basis of inclusion compassion and understanding. For that is the birthplace of true cultural change. It is only when we come from this place that we will be able to successfully lead the charge and be the change both for our youth and for ourselves.
We must stand up and say no to finger pointing blame and “outing” others for their behaviours or choices as this only serves to create a further division amongst our already fragile community. It does not serve the purpose for creating new paths out of old patterns … it only cements the behaviour of rightness and wrongness us and them. We simply must come together from a place of kindness and understanding in order to shine the light and move forward.
Nancy Brownsberger B.A. R.S.W.
Grow Optimism Consultants