Somewhere today, as you're reading this, a child is crying in a school bathroom.
A young gay man is contemplating life, his own life, and perhaps ending it.
A teenage girl is missing her high school dance to avoid the "chaos."
On the other hand, somewhere in a school hallway, a child is yelling names at the other kids.
A class is alienating that young homosexual man for being "different."
And hurting and disturbing Facebook messages are being sent to that teenage girl.
These things happen, everyday. We all know it.
We've been the bully, and we've been the victim; some more than others.
We've been the crying shoulder for bullied friends, we've tried to step in when it's been called for.
We've watched news headlines as another young person takes their own life, far too early, after months of unbearable torment.
And with every story, every child that is destroyed, every homosexual that lives uncomfortably, and every preventable, heart-wrenching tear, we get angry.
We all want to stop it. So why can't we make it stop?
These days, bullies can get the job done, easy.
The Internet and social media is allowing bullies to leave their mark, anonymously, and without needing the courage to say it face-to-face, they're becoming much more hurtful.
We see that even in the adult world, comments left on articles, opinion pieces and personal websites. Anonymity can be a dangerous thing.
In a world saturated with glitzy images of power, fame, beauty and money, young and old want nothing more than to come out on top, doing and saying whatever it takes to bring the next person crumbling down.
Often times, we hardly mean it. Often times, the children hardly mean it.
But still, everyday, someone is bullied. And they're hurting.
We will never eliminate bullying, let's face it, but it's time we look at what we've been doing wrong in the battle to stop it.
These things shouldn't happen everyday.
Every child deserves to go to daycare, school, the playground or the gym, without feeling anxious about what might be said to them.
Every teenager deserves to dress their style, love their sexuality and feel good about their choices.
November is National Crime Prevention and Community Safety month. To mark the month, the Canada Safety Council is challenging all Canadians to join in the fight to put an end to bullying.
Maybe it's time you joined that fight.
Because it's time to dry the tears. It's time to stop the suicides.
No girl or boy should miss out on the best years of their lives because of pain and misery.
Reprinted from the Grand Falls-Windsor Advertiser