Speaking out against bullying

by Karen Murphy Corr, Contributor

An Abbotsford mother hopes the driver of the blue Honda who nearly hit her Grade 9 son on Blueridge Drive the afternoon of Jan. 21 will come forward.

She is desperate to find this driver not because she’s angry, but because she wants to thank him.

“I need to thank him for helping Cameron and let him know we think he is a hero,” said Shannon Sandau, mother of four boys.

Her second son, Cameron, was pushed into the busy road at Blueridge Drive and Saturna Crescent by a group of five boys as he walked home from school. Sandau credits the driver’s quick reflexes for the fact her son wasn’t injured or killed. She’s also grateful the driver cared enough to get out of his car and offer help.

“He stepped up to the plate and renewed my faith that there are people willing to go the extra mile.”

Sandau said the boys involved were suspended from school for one week, but if the driver comes forward as a witness then charges could be laid.

“Those boys should be held accountable for their actions.”

Const. Ian MacDonald confirmed that Abbotsford Police are investigating the incident and that witnesses would be helpful.

“It’s still an ongoing investigation,” he said.

A strapping rugby, football and soccer-playing student at W.J. Mouat, Cameron doesn’t look like he’d be the victim of bullies. He said he hasn’t told his friends or teammates about the bullying and has tried to ignore the bullies and not engage.

He isn’t sure why things escalated, other than last year while playing football at lunch he overthrew a ball that nearly hit one of the boys. Then what started as name-calling and schoolyard scuffles in middle school escalated to the perpetrators slapping his face, chasing him across four lanes of traffic on Clearbrook Road and then pushing him in front of oncoming traffic.

“The day they pushed me I was walking home by myself and they were ahead of me. They were saying stuff and looking back at me and slowed down. I tried walking around them on the grass and they pushed me onto the street. The driver of the blue Honda swerved around me, pulled over and stopped,” said Cameron. “He was a nice guy, maybe in his 30s and about six feet tall.”

Cameron, embarrassed and in shock, didn’t get the driver’s name.

His mother said without charges she fears the boys won’t stop and encourages other families encountering bullying to keep pushing for serious consequences.

“Where does it end and when will it stop? How many Amanda Todd situations need to occur before something actually happens? I am all for Anti-Bullying Day, but wearing a pink shirt one day a year won’t fix this epidemic.

“We are speaking out, knowing full well it may bring on more retaliation from these boys, because we are breaking the silence.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225.

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