CALGARY (CityNews) – Racist bullying at a Catholic school just north of Calgary has an 11-year-old boy speaking out about his experience while offering words of advice to other kids in the same situation.
James Lasu is a student whose favourite subject is art, who plays the drums, and who loves playing basketball.
But he says bullies at the school don’t see him for who he really is.
“I’ve been getting bullied about my skin and people making fun of me for the way I was created,” said James. “And they just make me feel… it just makes me feel sad. They don’t see me for who I am. They just go straight to the bullying.”
“Honestly, I just feel like hiding away in my room. They think it’s really funny to them, but it really hurts.”
Added James’ mother Rose Lasu: “A child came to him and said, ‘take the monkey out of me.’”
James says his classmates rarely stand up for him.
“They just watch me be hurt and cry,” he said.
The Calgary Catholic School District and the RCMP are trying to bring the bullying to an end.
The school district told CityNews it was working with all the families involved with the help of its racial justice team. The RCMP says its school resource officers are also participating in those meetings.
“We asked the school if we can have the parents of that child and us sit down and meet one-on-one and see where he’s coming from exactly with all these things,” said Rose.
But the parents have yet to meet.
It’s a situation that has them concerned, since a young girl facing similar alleged bullying at a Calgary Catholic school last year took her own life.
“As a mother, you see what somebody’s child went through, somebody’s young (child) who has a future – tomorrow they’re going to be the future for this country – just die at a young age. It hurts,” said Rose.
While James prefers not to confront his tormentors, he does have a message for them.
“To tell them not to judge someone on the way they were created, or the way they were born and to get to know the person before judging them and to be kind and to lift people up instead of bringing them down,” he said.
He also has a message for other kids who are going through the same thing he is.
“I would tell them to be strong and just to forgive, forget and move on. Keep trying. Keep being strong.”