Children Can Be Cruel
by YacineAitSlimane on October 16, 2015 - 12:23pm
In her news article entitled “Torrence Collier, 11, says he faces racism, extreme bullying in Westport”, published on June 11, 2014 on CBC News, Lindsay Bird depicts the exasperating life of little Torrence Collier, an 11 years old year boy from Newfoundland who is victim of extreme racism and bullying at school. This 5th grade student is the only black child at St. Peter’s Academy in the town of Wesport. The author says the racist incidents includes racist comments and getting bullied every day by the other white students. In a video interview concocted by Bird, Torrence states that he is very scared and that he doesn’t understand why everybody hates him. He also adds that school feels like a prison and that sometimes he wonders if the intimidators are right. Torrence’s family sought counselling to help him as he is very depressed and says he wants to die to escape these endless slurs. The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District consequently held anti-bullying presentations for all students at St. Peter's Academy. Furthermore, Torrence is supervised every day at school and even uses a separate washroom to avoid any assault. The authors concludes by stating that being provincially run, the Newfoundland School district has no direct affiliation with town authorities as Torrence’s mother desperately wonders how to stop all this bullying and racism.
In my opinion, this article is effective as the information is very clear and supported by interviews from the victim. On the other hand, I also find it weak as it only shows little Torrence as the victim here. He could have maybe been the instigator at some moments but after reading this article, we can only assume that racism was the only reason for Torrence being intimated and bullied. However, I personally believe that racism is a reason or at least plays a part in Torrence’s endless slurs as he is the only black at that school. When I moved from Europe to establish myself in Montreal, my twin brother and I were the only two black person at our elementary school in Saint-Constant. Fortunately, I was never bullied but I was victim of racist remarks. I recall comments like “is that brown paint on you?” or “you are only good at sports because you’re black”. I remember how badly these comments affected me. However, when I think back, I wonder if these comments were purposely racist as some kids don’t know about race and how racism affects people. I believe this explanation can also relate to Torrence Collier’s incident. Obviously bullying and physically assaulting should not be tolerated and be severely punished but are these “racist” children fully aware of the repercussion of their actions? I strongly believe that parents should take responsibility in these situations. As stated in “Children are not colorblind: how young children learn race” by Erin N. Winkler, it is very important to enlightened young children about racial differences and why racist discrimination is wrong as children tend to draw conclusion based on how they see society. If parents are aware that their child is enduring racism or is committing this type of offense, then they have to help them understand what they are doing and how they can learn from these situations to avoid very sad incidents similar to Torrence’s case.
Bird, L. (2014, June 11). Torrence Collier, 11, says he faces racism, extreme bullying in Westport. CBC News. Retrieved October 16, 2015, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/torrence-collier-11-...