I'm not sure how many of you know that this week (November 12 - 17) is Bullying Awareness Week. It's actually the 10th anniversary, but I had honestly not heard of it. But I'm glad that it exists. You'd have to live under a rock if you don't know that bullying is a problem. A big one. The recent tragic suicide of Amanda Todd makes that all too clear. In this era of cyber-bullying, what was once perhaps a one-time incident, can now live on eternally online, torturing the victim over and over again, as was the case with Todd. I am so glad that I did not grow up in an age where this was possible. While I am a big fan of social media, one of its major drawbacks is that it gives those on a power trip a platform to publicly spew and spread their meanness. In the case of many teenagers, the ease of tapping a few buttons to do this is rarely accompanied with any thought as to what long-term consequences this could have. At least when you physically punch someone, your hand typically hurts as well, and you're aware that you caused someone else pain. This past Tuesday, the BC government hosted an anti-bullying forum to try to address the problem of bullying, spurred in part to Amanda Todd's passing. However, the focus of the conference was sidetracked by the fact that Todd's mother, Carol Todd, was not welcome to attend the event even though other families who had lost children to suicide had been invited. Carol Todd shared with the CBC some of her thoughts for other parents to prevent such heartbreak in their families. In particular, she suggests driving your child whenever you can and using that time to talk to them since they can't go anywhere. Have you talked to your kids about bullying? What did you say? How can we collectively take action against bullying within our own communities, governments, schools, and most importantly, families?