City of Carson one step closer to outlawing bullies

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

May 7, 2014

CARSON, Calif. – She seems like a typical Filipino American girl, but for most of her school life, schoolmates teasing and calling her fat and ugly nearly drove Jade Archer to ending her young life.

“When I was 12, I tried taking my own life because people because people told me to kill myself and I did it, I tried to do it because I believed them. I felt worthless. Because that’s how they made me feel and they were never held liable for that,” she said during the public comments portion of Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Archer not only survived the attempted suicide of three years ago, she has since gained the strength to fight against bullying by starting the support group Jade Against Bullying.

On Tuesday night she shared her story with the city of Carson as they voted to outlaw bullying.

“Bullying is not a part of growing up and it never should be. No one should ever grow up feeling like they’re worth nothing because that’s what I did. It’s not a fun experience,” the 15-year-old said.

The city council, including it’s Filipino vice mayor, voted unanimously to advance a local ordinance that makes bullying a crime.

US officials say more than a quarter of young children are bullied.

Under the proposal, Carson, a city with one of the highest Filipino concentrations in the country would make bullying—whether physical, emotional, and online—a misdemeanor offense punishable by fines.

The ordinance will now go through a second reading later this month and may go into effect as early as next month.

“It gives us hope because I’ve been bullied throughout my life and I never had anything like this that helped me,” Archer said.

Some community members took turns on the podium addressing the council, including Jade’s mother Valerie.

Other Filipinos, especially those with children say they support the efforts to outlaw bullying.

However they wonder how the 86-page ordinance can be enforced and implemented with long term and educational goals in mind.

“I am not for bullying, that’s a fact. But I am for teaching and as far as this, I don’t know if that would be teaching anything. It would be a slap on the hand. Then what will happen next?” Primrose Villenas, a kindergarten teacher, said.

Several cities throughout the US have also made anti bullying laws that would punish parents of alleged bullies.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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  • Mario
    8 May 2014 at 1:51 am - Reply

    In PH bullying is part of growing for children, it make us learn to be more strong emotionally and mentally. If they bullied you you learn to fight back and do counter measures. During younger ages I never see any kids committing suicide due to bullying. Even gays we teased them as “Bakla” and they behave like a boy and only come out in the open when they are in College or after College.

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