Today’s guest blog is from Frank Warren, the most trusted stranger in North America and creator of The PostSecret Project, an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard.
Recently, after speaking at a college about PostSecret, a young man walked up to the stage, handed me a postcard and asked me to read it. “In high school I was bullied. A year later he died! I never got to forgive him.”
Bullying is complicated and touches too many lives. I have read secrets from girls expressing how malicious gossip can sometimes hurt more than physical abuse. Other secrets from men, both young and old, have described how bullying caused violent actsmisdirected at themselves and sometimes at innocent coworkers or classmates.
I understand bullying well because I was a bully. Growing up in a broken home I bullied my younger brother. I know that is not uncommon but that does not make it right and it needs to change.
One reason I was a bully was because others bullied me. Through PostSecret, I was able to find some solace and healing by facing my buried humiliation, writing it on a postcard, mailing it to myself and publishing it in one of my books. This anonymous secret in the first PostSecret book belongs to me.
“When I was in the Fourth Grade a new kid moved into our neighborhood. He was a charismatic leader who quickly became popular. Soon after he convinced two of my friends to pin me to the ground and hold open my eyelids. They took turns spitting into my eyes.”
We are proud to represent some of the most respected advocates for anti-bullying, including important newsmakers:
Paula Todd‘s new book Extreme Mean is a groundbreaking exposé on the motives and machinations behind cyberabuse – tormenting, trolling, harassment, cyberbullying, stalking, and sexual extortion – and the toll it is taking on children, youth, and adults around the world.
The book received front-page attention from Maclean’s Magazine in their June 16th edition. Paula sat down for an interview which can be viewed here.
A few days later Paula also sat down with ABC News for a feature on cyberbullying, looking at middle and high schoolers who are now defending themselves from vicious anonymous comments.
Feminist advocate for Gender, Culture and Technology Steph Guthrie was asked to come speak at the House of Commons Standing Committee in May. The committee was looking at Bill C-13 or the so-called Cyber-Bullying Bill. Steph voiced her opposition to the current iteration of the Bill, noting the limitations it places on personal freedom and how it would restrict Canadians’ abilities to live life normally and comfortably. You can view the entire transcript here.