Letter to the Editor – Gary Allen of Nanaimo BC on being Bullied – February 29, 2012

To The Principal Facultity of Killareney School

Copy to Vancouver School District 39


I was a student at Killareney School in 1979-1980 and I was recently interviewed by the CBC on bullying,I told my story as can be seen below. I was bullied since grade seven when besides the bullying I was thrown in the school garbage by fellow students, but my most severe bullying happened at Killarney Senior Secondary School.


I will have you know that I went through absolute hell at the hands of the bullies at Killareney School.


I was afraid for my very life most of the time due in part to numerous death threats made by three of the bullies and with the abuse they put me through I didn’t really question whether they would carry their threats through. The teachers at the school were of NO help they either turned a blind eye or left their classrooms in the hands of the bullies by leaving for the whole period as did our arty teacher and the school guidance counselor.


I partly blame the school and it’s staff for allowing another human being be treated this way no body deserves this no matter sexual orientation,race or sex. The teachers must have been blind that would be the only way that they did not see what went on in the gym,classrooms and hallways of Killarney School. Having gone through what I did while attending Killarney School I can certainly understand how some can become suicidal. I truly hope there is NO bullying going on in your school today and that you make every effort to STOP it if there is.


I also hope teachers don’t still turn over their classes to bullies by leaving for the entire period. I feel that the principal and teachers have a duty and obligation to protect students from being bullied,in my case both failed me. I was robbed by bullies and teachers who looked the other way of my right to a grade 12 education and I continue to live with the scars that were inflicted on me.


I was diagnosed with and will probably always live with panic disorder brought on by the bullying I survived. Lastly even though my abuse happened many years ago,I feel that Killarney School owes me a least an apology and in writing. Please don’t try to bury this email I have plans to send it elsewhere..




Gary Allen – Nanaimo British Columbia

Gary Allen was first targeted in grade seven, when students began calling him “Gary Fairy” and teasing him about being gay.

“I felt like these students were telling me I was something I didn’t know I was,” he said.Although he felt that he was different, he was not expecting his classmates to be so cruel.

The bullying got worse at Killarney Secondary School in Vancouver, where some boys, who were in all his classes, began targeting him.

“Three male students that hung out together made it a point upon seeing me in the halls or in class to torment me both physically and verbally. They would push me and shove or, as one did, trip me in the“I started writing notes and forging my father’s signature to excuse me from classes.” – Gary Allen halls.”

He kept everything to himself, not wanting to tell his parents about what was happening at school.

“I started writing notes and forging my father’s signature to excuse me from classes when the bullying got to be far too much to handle, or I just skipped classes. My marks were poor in most classes, not because I wasn’t smart but because I constantly worried about what the bullies had in store for me next.”

The bullies, who were in his cooking and art classes, would destroy everything he made. They put their fist in his food or spit on it. They threw clay balls at him in art class. They repeatedly threatened to kill him.

Allen still remembers his tormenters’ faces and full names. He also remembers that his teacher, who was also a guidance counsellor, used to put on films and leave the class alone.

During one of those unsupervised classes, the bullying escalated to the point that Allen got up and said he was never coming back.

“I had a mental breakdown and was hospitalized for three months,” he said. “I basically blew up.”

Allen never returned to regular public schools, but later studied to become a long-term care aide at Camosun College in Victoria. He says he has been able to put the bad years to rest after two years of counselling.

He was surprised to find out how many other Canadians have been bullied.

“It makes me feel bad for anyone who had to go through any bullying.”

His advice to kids is not to bottle it up and keep it all to themselves. He also believes that bullies who threaten to kill their peers should be reported to police.

“Talk to someone you can trust.”

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Best Western Cornwall

1 Comment

  1. I had my share of bullying in High School. I has the dubious honour of being the youngest and shortest boy who had ever started St. Lawrence High School at the time. At 4″6″ tall and 165 lbs I was a bit of a butterball but a smart butterball. I had the jocks always pestering me to do their homework for them but I stubbornly refused to. They would bump me in the halls and stuff me in lockers and knock my books out of my hands. One day in physics class one of the “Jocks” grabbed a long scarf that I was wearing from behind and choked my until I passed out. By the time the teacher arrived I was picking my self up off the floor. Nothing was ever said about that the incident in the open but I know all the jocks made jokes about it in the locker room.

    That was in grade ten and the rest of my time at the school until graduating from grade 13 I learned how to make myself invisible. I knew which halls to take at certain times of the day to avoid the athletes and how to quickly duck into doorways and either be the first out of a class or the last. I didn’t participate in any after school activities nor did I participate in anything to do with the student council. I didn’t go to the prom either.

    High school was a hell that was ruled by the cliques. I can at least take some satisfaction in knowing that my tormentor in grade 10 ended up in a mental institution shortly after finishing high school where I believe he died. I know that it is a terrible thing to admit that someone’s death gives you satisfaction but never having received any compassion from my tormentors, I find it difficult to find any in myself for them.

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