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The Globe and Mail

Two moms, two school bullies and two different ways to deal

The Globe and Mail, Canada's largest national newspaper, By Dave Ginn, August 25, 2009

One mom taking the issue to the courthouse, while another is taking her kid to kickboxing lessons

One Manitoba mother of a bullied child is taking the issue to the courthouse, while another is taking her kid to kickboxing lessons.

Deborah Leblanc is suing the St. james Assiniboia School division for the mishanding of the bullying of her son Bryan.
Deborah Leblanc is suing the St. James Assiniboia School division for the mishandling of the bullying of her son Bryan.

Earlier this month, Deborah LeBlanc filed a lawsuit against the St. James-Assiniboia School Division in Winnipeg, claiming her son's junior high school did not protect him from a bully.

The suit alleges that in May 2008, another student attacked Ms. LeBlanc's 13-year-old son Bryan in school, grabbing him by the throat and knocking him unconscious as his head hit the floor, which left the boy with neck injuries and possible brain trauma.

"People shouldn't have to turn to violence to prevent violence," Ms. LeBlanc says.

But another mother in the city thinks otherwise. The mom, who has asked to remain anonymous, has enrolled her teenage son in kickboxing classes and has given the boy permission to "kick the snot out of" his bully, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

"The kids that are being bullied should have some kind of retribution," she recently told the newspaper.

Both situations are examples of just how difficult bullying can be for parents to deal with, experts say.

"It can be very frustrating," says Debra Pepler, co-director of PREVNet, a national network that addresses the problems of childhood bullying.

"As a parent, you're most interested and concerned about your child's safety. And so it's frustrating and very emotionally demanding and taxing when a child isn't safe."

Dealing with bullying can be challenging because often children are reluctant to raise the issue with parents, and teachers may not acknowledge the problem, she adds.

But there is a series of steps parents can take to address the issue, Ms. Pepler says.

"First talk to your child about it. If children come forward with any facet of bullying then I think the parent needs to explore with the child what he or she has done to stop the bullying and whether that's been successful."

From there, Ms. Pepler says, parents should discuss the bullying with the child's teacher or principal, who may sometimes be reluctant to acknowledge the full extent of the problem.

If necessary, she says, contact the school board.

"There's a ladder, basically, that you climb," says Robert Frenette, co-founder of, an anti-bullying website.

It starts with talking to teachers and principals.

"From there, if it gets into criminal harassment as well, which technically bullying is, they can get police involved," Mr. Frenette says.

Parents should absolutely not tell their kids to respond with violence, Ms. Pepler says.

News of the mother who has advised her son to dole out retribution on the playground has shocked anti-bullying advocates.

"I'm a little taken aback by it," Mr. Frenette says.

"It's definitely an initiative that has gotten out of hand. There's other methods that they can go about curbing it, and violence isn't one of them."

While standing up to bullies may have been a traditional way of dealing with the problem, it will only make things worse, Ms. Pepler says.

"If the child responds aggressively, the bullying lasts longer," she says. "Clearly, this is not a good strategy."

"I've always told my kids, go to an adult and report it," Ms. LeBlanc says. But she adds that there are probably many people who stay silent.

"I think there's an awful lot of bullying and violence going on that people either just don't want to come forward with or think if they come forward with it it's not going to go anywhere anyway."

Ms. LeBlanc's son has been home-schooled since January and is expected to attend a new school next month.

Sometimes parents may need to put their children in a different school, Ms. Pepler says.

"That is a last resort, but it is something that parents do. If you feel that a school isn't being responsive and protecting your child and you've done everything that you can possibly do to protect your child, sometimes changing context can work," she says. However, that may not be an option for people living in rural areas, Ms. Pepler adds.

Above all, parents whose kids are being bullied must be diligent in seeing the situation resolved, Ms. LeBlanc says.

"Take it as high as you have to," she says. "If you go to the principal and you're not getting answers from there, go to the school board, take it to the police, take it to lawyers. You have to get it stopped."

Pediatricians turn away from circumcision

The United States is the only country that routinely circumcises baby boys for non-religious reasons

March 1, 1999

ATLANTA (CNN) -- American pediatricians are turning away from the practice of routine circumcision, concluding that doctors have no good medical reason to perform the procedure.

The United States is the only country in the world that routinely removes the foreskins of infant boys. Critics of circumcision got additional ammunition Monday from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a leading medical organization.

The academy concluded the benefits "are not compelling enough" for circumcision to be routinely administered.

baby screaming in pain

A newborn winces in pain after a circumcision

Monday's statement, published in the March edition of the journal Pediatrics, was the academy's first in 10 years on the practice. But in recent years, medical societies in Canada, Britain and Australia have come out in opposition to routine circumcision.

Critics have long contended that removing the foreskin from the penis is traumatic, medically unnecessary and may reduce sexual pleasure later in life. As one critic, Dr. George Denniston, put it: "Who are we to question mother nature?"

Canadian researchers, whose study was published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, studied the heart rates and crying patterns of babies during different stages of circumcision.

In fact, in the study they found the babies suffered so much trauma that they stopped the study part way through.

The results were so compelling that they took the unusual step of stopping the study before it was scheduled to end rather than subjecting any Read More ..bies to circumcision.

One baby stopped breathing for 25 seconds from the trauma of having part of his foreskin severed.  Read More ..

Toronto Sun logo

Male Circumcision, the unkindest cut

By Dr. Gifford Jones

Special to C-Health

Read More ..

Baby Died from Herpes Transmitted by Rabbi During Ritual Genital Mutilation

ABC News USA - Spanking children Leads to aggression

Baby Dies of Herpes in Ritual Circumcision By Orthodox Jews

ABC News, U.S.A., by Susan Donaldson James, March 12, 2012

New York City is investigating the death last September of a baby who contracted herpes after a "ritual circumcision with oral suction," in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish ceremony known in Hebrew as metzitzah b'peh.

The district attorney's office in Kings County Brooklyn is investigating the death of the 2-week-old baby at Maimonides Hospital, but would not disclose the name of the mohel or whether there would be a prosecution.

The 5,000-year-old religious practice is seen primarily in ultra-Orthodox and some orthodox communities and has caused an alarm among city health officials. In 2003 and 2004, three babies, including a set of twins, were infected with Type 1 herpes; the cases were linked to circumcision, and one boy died.

The mohel who performed the procedures, Yitzchok Fischer, was later banned from doing circumcisions, according to The New York Times. It is not known if he was involved in this recent death.

"It's certainly not something any of us recommend in the modern infection-control era," said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University.

"This is a ritual of historic Abraham that's come down through the ages, and now it has met modern science," he said. "It was never a good idea, and there is a better way to do this." (The modern Jewish community uses a sterile aspiration device to clean the wound in a circumcision.)

In the 2004 death and the more recent one, a mohel infected the penile wounds with Type 1 herpes I (HSV-1), which affects the mouth and throat. It is different from Type 2 or genital herpes (HSV-2), which is a sexually transmitted disease and can cause deadly infections when a newborn passes through an infected birth canal.

Neonatal herpes is "almost always" a fatal infection, according to Schaffner. "It's a bad virus. [Infants] have no immunity and so it's a very serious illness. Now we have another death -- an unnecessary, incredibly tragic death."

Male Genital Mutilation (MGM) Circumcision - Baby Boy Botched

Circumcision Botched - Canadian Press

Circumcision Botched by Jewish Father Results in Conviction for Aggravated Assault

The Canadian Press
Dec. 22, 2011

VANCOUVER - A B.C. man who performed a botched circumcision on his four-year-old son on the kitchen floor of his home has lost an appeal of his conviction and been found guilty of a more serious charge.

The B.C. Court of Appeal has stayed the man's conviction for criminal negligence causing bodily harm and convicted him of aggravated assault.

Court heard the boy was born premature at only 2.5 pounds and could not be circumcised at the time, nor did his parents request it.

South Korean Doctors

Male circumcision based on myths and misinformation

Peak age of circumcision of males in Korea is 12 years old!

Urinary Tract Infection Rates for Both Circumcised and Non-Circumcised Baby Boys Under 1 Year Old

UTIs are rare

Canadian Paediatric Society - Circumcision statement

"Of every 1,000 boys who are circumcised 2 will be admitted to hospital for a urinary tract infection (UTI) before they are one year old."

"Of every 1,000 boys who are not circumcised 7 will be admitted to hospital for a UTI before they are one year old. "

Société canadienne de pédiatrie - circoncis statement

Sur 1 000 garçons circoncis 2 seront hospitalisés en raison d'une infection urinaire avant l'âge d'un an.

Sur 1 000 garçons non circoncis 7 seront hospitalisés par suite d'une infection urinaire avant l'âge d'un an.

CanadianCRC editor:
Anyone who states that urinary tract infections are common among newborn baby boys, and therefore advocates that the genital mutilation of boys ( male circumcision) will stop urinary tract infections, is a liar or misinformed.

Besides, urinary tract infections are entirely treatable.

Men's Rights Commentary

Men's News Daily Online

Commentary on the David Reimer botched circumcision / gender changed case

When Feminist Dogma Met Dr. Mengele

CanadianCRC editor's Note: Reminder about our policy: Many sides of an issue are expressed in articles on this website. Many articles contain points of view which should be heard but are not the position of the Canadian Children's Rights Council.

"..Circumcision May CAUSE Urinary Tract Infection"

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are rare, and mainly occur in the first year of life. They are several times Read More .. common in girls than boys (but of course surgery is never considered for girls).

They are painful, and women's experience of them is a powerful inducement to have sons circumcised, if they imagine that this will protect them. In fact, a significant proportion of boys contract UTIs even though they are circumcised. A study in Israel found they mainly occurred in girls at four months, but in boys soon after they were circumcised....  Now an Australian study suggests circumcision may cause urinary problems.  Read More ..

Read what the medical profession associations have to say on this issue

2003 British Medical Association Statement Against Circumcision

The BMA does not believe that parental preference alone constitutes sufficient grounds for performing a surgical procedure on a child unable to express his own view. . . . Parental preference must be weighed in terms of the child's interests. . . . The BMA considers that the evidence concerning health benefit from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it. . . . Some doctors may wish to not perform circumcisions for reasons of conscience. Doctors are under no obligation to comply with a request to circumcise a child.  Read More ..

Toronto Sun Circumcision of males unkindest cut

Circumcision, the unkindest cut

By Dr. Gifford Jones

Special to C-Health

Read More ..

Baby Dies From Circumcision

Five-week-old infant died after he was circumcised at Penticton hospital

Vancouver, British Columbia
August 29, 2002

The Kamloops coroner is investigating the case of an infant who died last week from complications following his circumcision at Penticton Regional Hospital.

The five-week-old child was released after the procedure last Tuesday morning, but his parents went back to talk to the doctor later that day with concerns about bleeding. They returned home, but the situation worsened overnight, forcing them to rush the child back to hospital early Wednesday.

The infant was flown by air ambulance to Vancouver, where he died last Thursday in B.C. Children's Hospital.

"It certainly seems to be unusual," coroner Ian McKichan said yesterday. "It's definitely something that warrants an investigation, because it's a totally unexpected sort of death."

Deaths following circumcision are almost unheard of, but like any operation, bleeding and infection are the greatest dangers.

The case raises questions about an increasingly rare operation which stirs controversy in some circles.

"The bottom line is that circumcision is becoming a less-common procedure," said Dr. Morris Van Andel, registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. "It's no longer an insured service -- it's considered an option. That makes it all the Read More ..stressing when you hear about something like this."

According to Penticton hospital officials, the operation to remove the foreskin from the child's penis was conducted by a physician with 16 years' practice in British Columbia.