Tag Archives: youth

Is Well-Intended Anti-Bullying Pledge Just Empty Words?

By Jason Menard

The old adage states that actions speak louder than words. Until schools, police, and parents are willing to get tough on bullies, I fear that this latest anti-bullying endeavour – the Pledge to End Bullying – will amount to nothing more than empty words.

Essentially, the pledge states one’s belief that everyone in the community has a right to feel safe and that “I pledge to be respectful of others and stand up against bullying whenever and wherever I see it.”

Nice words. Great sentiment. But the ones who most need to follow those rules won’t be the ones lining up to take this pledge. If this sounds familiar, perhaps because it’s very similar to a piece I wrote in the Ottawa Citizen in May regarding a much-more graphic anti-sexual assault campaign. Continue reading

I Swear! Language Matters

By Jason Menard

They’re powerful words designed to provoke a reaction. For some, that reaction is shock, for others its indifference, whilst some feel revulsion. But the biggest risk with swearing is that words used for emphasis can actually diminish your overall credibility.

I recently received a comment from a reader of this blog who started off his diatribe with “You guys need to get your fucking facts straight before you put shit like this on the internet…”  Continue reading

Day of Silence Reminds Us of Need to Speak Up

By Jason Menard

As powerful as today’s National Day of Silence has the potential to be, to affect real change we need to use the other 364 day to speak up against name-calling, bullying, and harassment not just in schools, but everywhere.

The National Day of Silence is an event led by the U.S.-based Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. It’s intent is to get students to take a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered name-calling, bullying, and harassment. Continue reading

Grammar’s Greatest Protectors Actually Doing Most Damage to Language

By Jason Menard

Today is National Grammar Day and while there appears to be increasingly little to celebrate if you survey the linguistic landscape, perhaps it’s time to reassess where the actual blame lies.

We all know about the challenges to the language that are our youth. Schools have increasingly abdicated their obligation to teach, instead settling for the lowered bar that is comprehension. Text and on-line messaging have also conspired to diminish the language as the next generation’s current form of communication is actively impeding their ability to express themselves.

So we could blame the kids – after all, that’s the easy way to do. Continue reading

Clothed-Minded Parents Wrongfully Fearful of Sexuality

By Jason Menard

How am I not gay?

Seriously. I mean, I’ve dressed up as a woman TWICE in my life: once in my mid-20s on Hallowe’en and once, way back when I was 17, and we went to a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Actually, I guess I was dressing as a man, who dressed like a woman, but you get the point. Continue reading