Here at Voices Against Bullying we endeavor to create a safe community for all
"In October 2019, a teen in our city of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, was murdered at school. This tragedy brought to light the epidemic of bullying in our local schools. The voices of a multitude of parents came forward to share stories of their children who had been bullied so extensively that some wanted to die, and some even attempted to take their own lives. They felt like the education system was failing to keep their children safe.
On October 9, 2019, Hamilton resident and mom, Julie Schaafsma, created a Facebook group to bring these families together to share their stories, share resources, seek mutual peer support, and to find real help. The group exploded quickly to over 2500 members, going beyond just parents, to include youth, teachers, trustees, mental health workers, advocates, and other professionals with resources to help. An online community of trust was born.
We quickly realized that, in order to bring about real positive change, we needed to move beyond social media to social action, and our Steering Team was born. We also realized that, in order to be effective, we needed to focus our goal. Our social media connections had become global, but our immediate goal needed to remain local: to be a positive influence for change in how the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board handles bullying, harassment, and violence in schools, and to share what we learn with the world