The bullying must stop

All Gena Barzan wants is for the bullying to stop.

For the past three years her son has been bullied mercilessly at school and it is having a severe impact on his life and his family's life.

Barzan has spoken with officials at Pleasant Valley Secondary School and said while they are concerned and are taking the matter seriously, the bullying has continued by a small group of students led by one boy in particular.

Barzan said the acts of bullying included verbal assaults, having items thrown at her son, intimidation, being spat in his face and being threatened with acts of violence.

“Now that they are in high school it has escalated,” said Barzan. “This year it has gone on non-stop inside of the bus, outside of the bus because they have to ride from Falkland together. I've gotten the school board involved, the vice-principal, the police and it's not getting any better.”

Barzan's son is showing signs of extreme stress from the situation including wanting to hurt himself and saying he wants to die.

“What we're getting is a boys-will-be-boys kind of attitude,” said Barzan, but she did say the school vice-principal has been very active in dealing with the situation.

“This particular group – and especially one – harass other students also.”

So she is holding a protest in front of the Armstrong school Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and she is asking other parents of bullied children, or anyone who wants to stand up to bullies, to join her.

“I am not doing this just for my son, but for all children who are being bullied,” said Barzan.

Friday, Oct. 19 is a Pro-D Day at the school so Barzan thought it would be a good day to hold the protest as there will be no students in the school.

“I am going to stand with signs and hopefully something will be implemented at all schools to stop this,” she said.

North Okanagan-Shuswap School District 83 officials did not respond to a request for comment.

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