I read with interest regarding the story of Vancouver 2010 Olympic Chair John Furlong who has been accused 40 years after the fact of mistreating students when he was a gym teacher.
He fervently denies this, but if the allegations were true, it goes to show that bullying and abuse is not just relegated to children and adolescents.
I grew up in Brandon and while in Grade 2, I had the misfortune of having a teacher who seemed to take great pleasure in strapping the students and belittling them any way on a daily basis.
Imagine my horror when this person then became my teacher in the next grade. I was often hysterical and refused to go to school because I was so very frightened of this person’s cruelness.
My father on one occasion had to call this person, telling them to back off. Remember that this was 1968 and parents usually did not take such stands.
I am now in my fifties and am still saddened by the physical abuse and emotional torment I suffered at such an early age.
I was further horrified to learn this person actually received a Manitoba Teachers Society award for excellence. Alas, this abusive individual is likely no longer with us, but if not, I wonder what justification they would have for treating a seven- or eight-year-old so horribly? I will likely never find out.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 1, 2012