ZYTARUK: Let this be a lesson to bullies everywhere

A couple hundred bikers, a bullied child, and a strong message sent home

So let it be written…

What a marvellous story!

We often say here in our newsroom that if there’s a big story breaking, no matter where, there’s usually some sort of Surrey connection to it. Many times over the years I’ve heard journalists who are covering other cities wax wistfully about how busy and interesting Surrey is. Don’t we know it!

But this time, I’m looking to a splendid occurrence on the other side of the country with journalism-envy, I confess.

In case you missed it, the aforementioned marvellous story involves a young lad who was being bullied at school, and a couple hundred bikers. I say was, assuming the efficacy of the latters’ noble campaign.

The dateline was Sydney, Nova Scotia. This thing played out like a TV movie, simply too good to be true.

First the bad stuff. Xander Rose, a Grade 4 student at Harbourside Elementary school in Sydney, news reports back east tell us, was sadly being bullied every day at school and it got so bad, the reports tell us, that his clothes were ripped off during a school bus ride, and a fellow student threatened to kill him.

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Now, Xander is 10 years old, 150 pounds, five feet two inches tall and of aboriginal and African descent. And why not? That’s who he is, but apparently some little squirts took issue with that.

Little squirts, strangely enough, come in all shapes, ages, sizes, genders, races and what-not. These are the bullies who, through either ignorance or character flaw, just can’t seem to embrace the golden rule, that is, of doing unto others as they would have others do unto them. In an ideal world, we would all do better unto others than they would do unto us.

Alas, PREVNET, which identifies itself as “Canada’s authority on research and resources for bullying prevention,” reveals that 75 per cent of people say they’ve been affected by bullying, with victims suffering from headaches, depression, anxiety and of course sometimes much, much worse. Peers are present in 90 per cent of bullying incidents, but when peers intervene, most bullying incidents stop within 10 seconds.

Who knows? Maybe Xander’s bullies were, or are, bullied themselves.

About Xander, here’s the good stuff. Great stuff.

One recent Wednesday morning, a couple hundred burly, leather-clad bikers rumbled down the streets of Sydney on their hogs as though it were some kind of maritime Sturgis, with one of them carrying Xander as a passenger on the back of his motorcycle, enroute to Harbourside Elementary.

Once there, this small army of bikers escorted Xander straight up to the front door.

I would have loved to have seen it in person. I’ll bet jaws dropped, and almost certainly, I imagine, some water fell on the floor.

I reckon some bullies won’t be bullying anyone anymore.

And Xander, judging by the twinkle in his eye, now knows he is not alone and doesn’t need to take anyone’s guff.

A couple hundred guardian angels saw to that. Cool, or what?

So let it be done.

tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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